Bielsa says table-topping Leeds still have long way to go

Date published: Sunday 23rd December 2018 5:05

Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa praised the ambition and desire shown by his Leeds United side in their 3-2 comeback win over Aston Villa.

Leeds found themselves 2-0 down at half-time, but goals from Jack Clarke and Pontus Jansson restored parity before Kemar Roofe scored a dramatic stoppage time winner.

The result means Leeds top the Championship table at Christmas, as the league reaches its halfway point.

Bielsa told reporters: “We were very ambitious. We made very many efforts. We played versus a team very strong from an offensive point of view and could neutralise them. Apart from the first 15 minutes of both halves, we were well.

“I think we deserved to win the game and the performance of the players were all very good.”

However, Bielsa refused to get carried away with talk of promotion at this stage of the campaign.

“We still have to play the same amount of games we have just played. And you know that in football you can’t make any provision or anticipate.

“That’s why we will try to win the games one-by-one when they come.”

The manager also took time to praise the input of Clarke, whose first professional goal set the wheels in motion for the comeback.

Bielsa said: “He was very important because he scored the first goal and he gave enthusiasm to the team. And we always felt he had the capacity to make a difference to the side.

“When I started to look at his skills I didn’t imagine that he could make the difference that he is making now.

“As every young player, I think he can improve a lot, but at the same time he has to confirm his level and show what he’s capable of.

“We know that a feature of big players is to maintain the same level of performance. He’s a young player and I think we have to manage his time of play, at least that’s my opinion and if we build an image which is an exaggerated one of his capabilities, we will be hurting him, not helping him.”


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