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"Bielsa analyses the game as if he's had two days to do it!" | Leeds learning lessons

Joseph Conroy
Joseph Conroy

21:58 29 Jan 2020

Marcelo Bielsa has learned from the difficulties of the end of last season with Leeds United, according to BBC Yorkshire's Adam Pope.

Bielsa and Leeds sit atop the Championship after a rough patch of form where they won only two in six - coming back from 2-0 down at home to Millwall last night.

Thankfully, for Leeds fans, West Bromwich Albion are in equally wretched form and attention gradually turns to the Whites being welcomed back into the top flight.

Bielsa learning lessons?

Pope believes that the situation last season, where Leeds lost out in the playoff semi-finals to Derby County, has been instructive this time.

"I think last season was a big learning curve for them, not just in the playoffs but that Easter weekend where they lost to Brentford and Wigan," said Pope, who was speaking with Joe Molloy and Johnny Ward on The Football Show on Off The Ball.

"Don't forget, Bielsa is the first person to say that he hasn't won that much in his career, and he will not change.

"He is a mentally strong guy, where he can pretty much dedicate himself 24/7 to the club - even at 63.

"He always plays the same way, so everyone knows what to expect this season. That has been the big difference.

"It is a massive spur to get this one over the line because they did bottle it last season.

"Let us hope that they can just get into a position where they can just stretch at the top of the table."

Pope also believes that it is the manager's unique footballing brain and work ethic that place Leeds in as strong a position as can be expected.

"The thing that I like about Bielsa is that he can do this thing after a game, where he analyses it so quickly afterwards - so calmly, rationally and accurately - it is almost as if he has had two days!

"I don't know any other coach that can do that."

Leeds United tiredness?

Bielsa's teams have a reputation for physically-lagging towards the end of a league campaign, and many attributed this in part to Leeds' demise last season.

Pope, however, believes that the same will not occur this time.

"I don't think [the recent slump] is tiredness at all. The players are put under a strict regime, but all the statistics shows that his team are running harder, faster and longer at the end of the season.

"I do think last year was a mental thing."

 

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