Marcelo Bielsa admits he knows exactly why Leeds have fallen short in the race for promotion following their highly-damaging 2-0 defeat to Brentford on Easter Monday.
After fellow promotion chasers Sheffield United claimed a 3-0 win at Hull earlier in the day, Leeds needed to match the result to move level on points, but turned in a disappointing display as they slipped to defeat at Griffin Park.
With just two games remaining, and with the Blades holding a vastly-superior goal difference, Chris Wilder’s side can all-but secure their place in the Premier League with victory over Ipswich on Saturday, with Leeds not in action until the Sunday against Aston Villa.
Asked for his thoughts after the game, a downbeat Bielsa admitted: “I’m very sad.
“We had the hope to finish first or second, but with the loss of today it is going to be very difficult.”
It was a familiar tale for Leeds, who again dominated possession and had the more chances, but a failure to convert their chances again proved costly.
And Bielsa admits that their profligacy in front of goal has proved key to their ‘failure’, with the play-offs now seemingly nailed on for the Whites.
“It started with the last game [Wigan] and it was a game where we had more possession and chances to score, but we lost this game,” Bielsa said.
“The game of today is like many games we have played this year. We didn’t take advantage of the positive moments where we could have made the difference.
“At the beginning of both halves we could have scored goals, and in the moments where we dominated less, they scored goals.
“In the second half we were dominating a lot and we were thinking a draw was coming, and then they scored a second goal.
“They are a team with very good defensive players but we had twice more chances to score than the opponent.
“It is hard for us to build actions at goal. But despite this we had offensive actions without efficiency.
“This is the summary of our season.
“Many chances to score compared to the goals we actually scored.
“If we had the normal efficiency, we would have ten or 12 points more. That’s not the case and we have to put all our energy in the option we still have, which is important to us.”
Asked why he shook every player’s hand at full-time, the Leeds manager continued: “After this game we all saw that our chances of finishing first or second have decreased, and we knew that.
“I thought they deserved good words.
“The last 25 minutes were confused with an unbalanced team, but if you look at all of the players, they all attack and defend in big spaces.
“We were outnumbered at times, but we attacked in short, compact spaces, and their behaviour from my point of view was an example.
“I wanted them to know that I identified with them.”
Get the latest personalised Whites products on our new TEAMtalk Leeds United shop!