Marcelo Bielsa said his close ally Mauricio Pochettino did well to control his emotions as well as he did after steering Tottenham into the Champions League final on Wednesday night.
The Leeds manager is known as something as a mentor for the Tottenham manager, who on Wednesday hit a career high as Spurs, against all the odds, recovered from 3-0 behind on aggregate against Ajax to reach the Madrid-staged showpiece.
Bielsa asked about Pochettino after Wednesday night’s drama in Amsterdam and said: “We were all full of emotion after the game last night. I can imagine what he felt as a head coach. The game was a party of football.”
“Both teams lived it with a lot of respect and I saw Pochettino trying to control his emotion so as not to offend the opponent. He didn’t want his celebration to be an offence. I’m thankful for what he said about me.”
Asked about his relationship with Pochettino and Bielsa insisted the Tottenham head coach was his own man.
“I am in no way a teacher for Pochettino. Pochettino’s style is an original one. He designed it himself.”
The Whites manager has more pressing things on his mind with Saturday’s play-off semi-final first leg against Derby on the horizon; Bielsa having stated what promotion would mean to the club, its fans the city.
Asked for his thoughts on the job done by Lampard this season and the Leeds manager had nothing but respect for his efforts.
“The results of Derby and the style of play speak for Frank Lampard. He has good players and he made this team play well,” he said.
Following the recent-controversy against Aston Villa, which saw Leeds score a goal with an Aston Villa player down injured, before letting their opponents score a free goal, Bielsa also says he will tell Lampard that both sets of players must play to the referee’s whistle.
“If an opposition player is down injured [neither side] won’t put the ball out. The decision should fall to the referee every time. The rules says the person who has to take the decision is the ref.”
He added: “This has nothing to do with the situation against Aston Villa because we feinted to put the ball out and didn’t. I’m not talking about that. We just want to find a solution to this moment of doubt.”
Bielsa was then asked about the possibility of a penalty shootout and he concluded: “You can be good at penalties but not in front of 50,000 people.
“You can be good in games but not in a game like this. What I’m telling you is that it’s meaningless to prepare for penalties.”
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