Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips admits he would “never fall out” with head coach Marcelo Bielsa amidst rumours of a rift between the pair.
The England international was brought off at half-time in Leeds’ 0-0 draw at Brighton on Saturday, with pundits Jamie Redknapp and Tim Sherwood suggesting all is not well between Phillips and Bielsa.
The Argentine denied the claims by saying his player has earned “idol” status among the Whites’ fans and everyone at the club has a duty to preserve this relationship.
And after Leeds’ 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Tuesday evening, Phillips put any rumours of a rift to bed, saying he ‘respects him so much’.
“I will play any position the manager asks me – if he wants me to play centre-back I will play centre-back, if he wants me to play goalkeeper I’ll play goalkeeper. I respect him so much I will never fall out with him,” he said.
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“I saw a lot of things on social media and TV that me and the manager had fallen out, it’s never been the case and I wanted to put that to bed.”
The win against Palace has lifted the Whites up to 15th in the league and was only their third Premier League win of the season.
Brazilian winger Raphinha scored the only goal of the game – a stoppage-time penalty after Marc Guehi’s handball.
On the win, Leeds boss Bielsa told BBC Match of the Day: After the goal there were still five minutes to play. Only at the end did we feel the win was ours.
“We haven’t taken many points so far this season. Every game we see as an opportunity to balance this out.
“The opposing team had developed their play very well and it was very difficult to keep that clean sheet.
“To have won the previous game always helps to prepare for the next one. Sometimes a win facilitates the next one.”
On Raphinha, Bielsa added: “He’s very important and to score that goal he needed a lot of character, personality and courage. He got us the three points.”