Leeds formation change explained as Bielsa gives Hernandez update

Date published: Monday 30th September 2019 1:24

Pablo Hernandez

Marcelo Bielsa made light of Leeds’ decision to switch to a three-man defence against Charlton on Saturday, insisting his players must be able to adapt to different formations when required.

United slipped to a 1-0 defeat at The Valley on Saturday, with Bielsa now left with something of a headache after another dominant display failed to yield it’s rewards. The Leeds manager – a known perfectionist, has admitted he’s leaving no stone unturned to get to the bottom of the problem.

After falling behind to what proved a fortunate goal against the Addicks – the goal being credited, rather fortuitously, to Macauley Bonne – Leeds switched to a 3-4-3 formation, but Bielsa made light of the tinkering to his system.

“For 30 minutes we played with a line of three one defensive midfielder and three players, making three in attack,” he explained.

“After one moment of the match they started to play with a line of three defenders, so they did that to try and neutralise an aspect of our game. We kept our shape. After in the second half we decided to play with two in front and two wingers behind them and two offensive midfielders. After we tried to adapt to their playmaker and two centre-forwards of them.

“And in the last part of the match they still played with a lone of three and a DM and we played with three in the back.. We added Adam [Forshaw] and [Stuart] Dallas to go more offensive. But from the tactical point of view, [this is] not important.”

Leeds did miss the ingenuity of veteran playmaker Pablo Hernandez against Charlton and Bielsa has admitted the Spaniard will again be absent against West Brom on Tuesday.


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Asked if he’d be fit for Millwall at the weekend, Bielsa continued: “I couldn’t say that. I have to wait to see how his recovery completes.”

Questioned if Leeds missed Hernandez’s guile against Charlton, Bielsa added: “There are two complimentary views. You always miss one player like Pablo when he is not in the team. The second is we are in good condition to put a player in to replace him. Proof: one offensive game against Derby was the same with Charlton. In both games we have created similar enough chances to score. For this reason, we miss Pablo, we cannot say otherwise, but the team can resolve his absence.”

Bielsa also confirmed Adam Forshaw – back in the squad on Saturday – is again likely to miss out on Tuesday.


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