Marcelo Bielsa has paid a rich tribute to Burnley boss Sean Dyche – and admits the two managers are more alike than many realise.
United make the short journey over the Pennines to take on a Clarets side safe in the Premier League once again. Leeds beat Burnley 1-0 earlier in the season, but it was a tough afternoon for the Whites who worked hard to shut them out.
Leeds go into the game trying to preserve their top-half status – a fine effort for their first season back in the Premier League.
But a match at Turf Moor is never easy and Bielsa knows Leeds will have their work cut out.
Indeed, he has complimented Dyche for having a very clear way of playing. That is a principle that Bielsa admires and also has, albeit a different one, with Leeds.
“Burnley is a team who has a style completely defined. Very developed,” Bielsa stated. “Very few times seen a style so defined. This is evident so it does not seem like occasional recognition.
“Deduction of their game, they are a team that faces all moments in a game and campaign with a principle plan. Burnley are an example when things don’t go as desired, the base of the way they play should not change.
“It’s better to improve the parts of the team not working well. Famously, this plan B. A constant demand when things aren’t going well, but what I observe is the good teams and the coaches who manage the best teams don’t abandon in adversity, they correct it. This is, of course, a lot easier if you manage [Manchester] City.
“The fact Burnley is able to stay loyal to their style of play throughout any ups and downs is admirable. Of course, it’s more natural to want to watch Burnley rather than City.”
Bielsa on Burnley attacking threat
Bielsa also knows his defenders will have a tough ask trying to shut out Burnley’s attackers and admits they all offer something different.
“[Ashley] Barnes and [Chris] Wood are not the same as [Matej] Vydra or [Jay] Rodriguez. Simplify by saying they play with two forwards, but if you see how each of them play, and how the manager articulates them, they have option to combine one with any of those three.
“This generates consequences in the style of the team. It’s not it does not have themes, but it’s they have a natural pillar, but within that there is different themes.”
Bielsa added: “All the teams don’t have such heights football-wise. Leeds is an example. We can’t aspire to create the same beauty aesthetically as the big teams, but in the measure of our possibilities maintaining a style and polishing it, improving it, is something to merit and a path to follow.”