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Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Leeds must sharpen up in attack, says Bielsa

AFP , Thursday 22 Oct 2020
Marcelo Bielsa
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa (right) says his side must retain their attacking threat (AFP)
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Marcelo Bielsa has warned his Leeds players it is crucial they retain their attacking threat as they seek to re-establish themselves in the Premier League.

Newly-promoted Leeds made a splash on their return to the English top flight after a 16-year gap, scoring three goals in a 4-3 defeat by Liverpool in their opening match before beating Fulham by the same scoreline.

But they have found the net just twice in their three league games since then and have dropped to 10th in the table.

Bielsa, whose side travel to high-flying Aston Villa on Friday, believes his side's failure to convert their chances against Wolves on Monday handed their opponents the belief they required to escape with a 1-0 win at Elland Road.

"In a team like us that attacks, it is not good when our attacks don't create danger," said the Argentine, whose team enjoyed two-thirds of possession.

"When this happens the opponent feels that we are not able to cause them much danger, and this makes the game more even.

"The conclusion is that we understand why we lost the game even though we shouldn't have, and we dominated the large majority of it."

Bielsa has injury problems ahead of the trip to Villa Park, with England international Kalvin Phillips ruled out for a number of weeks after picking up a serious shoulder injury.

Phillips will be replaced in midfield by Dutchman Pascal Struijk, who had stepped in for Liam Cooper on Monday after the centre-back suffered a recurrence of a recent groin injury.

Cooper remains a doubt for the trip to Villa while Diego Llorente is definitely out, also with a groin strain which he sustained on international duty.

Bielsa said he had strength in numbers despite the injury blows.

"We have many players who can play in a number of positions," he said. "Being able to play in more than one position always helps the manager.

"The squad is not small because we have two players per position, and there are no big differences between the two players who occupy each position."

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