Karen Carney aims thinly-veiled barb at Bielsa over Rodrigo treatment

Rodrigo Moreno, Leeds

Karen Carney admits her reaction would have been very different to Rodrigo’s if she had suffered a similar fate to the Leeds United forward.

Rodrigo, 30, began Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea on the bench. But he entered the fray on 35 minutes after Patrick Bamford suffered a hip injury following a challenge with Antonio Rudiger.

However, Marcelo Bielsa decided to make a change on 79 minutes and replaced the Spaniard with Mateusz Klich. After the match, the Argentinian explained his reasons for making the substitution.

“The period in the first half and second half, while we made efforts superior to those he’s capable of after being out for 40 days,” he said. “Not only physically, but match fitness. I value a lot how he was able to perform around 50 minutes he’s played.

“Although he’s healthy and physically fit, the work he needs with the ball is still required.”

Rodrigo made no fuss when seeing his number called. Former England star Carney confessed that, while she understands the boss’s thinking, the same action would have made her livid.

“I wouldn’t have reacted well if it did happen to me to be honest,” she told Optus Sport. “But things have to be done in games and sometimes players outlast managers and you have to do what you have to do to get a result, and if that’s what you have to do, you’ve got to do it.”

No Rodrigo apologies from Bielsa

The goalless draw was just Leeds third stalemate of the campaign. It followed defeats to Aston Villa and West Ham United, leaving the West Yorkshire outfit 12th in the standings.

Marcelo Bielsa: Leeds United dominated but not clinical enough

Marcelo Bielsa was disappointed with his sides finishing as they mustered up enough chances to get a result in their 2-0 loss to West Ham.

They sit 10 points above the relegation zone and just four adrift of the ‘magical’ 40-point mark. Rodrigo has played his part, with 12 starts among 20 top-flight appearances for the Whites.

The former Valencia man has also chipped in with three goals. Bielsa was asked if he will explain his decision to Rodrigo.

Raphinha, Rodrigo, Jack Harrison Newcastle v Leeds January 2021

But it seems as though the South American will be going down a different route.

“I comment to you what I have already said,” he added. “The contribution of what Rodrigo did was above what he’s capable of at the moment.

“More than apologise to him I have to thank him for his contribution on the pitch because I insist because the contributions he made do not correspond to where he’s at in his return.”

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