Marcelo Bielsa has admitted he is worried about Leeds United as they have now lost three games in a row in all competitions.
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The latest defeat came at home to struggling Brighton, as Leeds have now lost 3-0 at Tottenham, 3-0 at fourth-tier Crawley Town in the FA Cup and 1-0 to Brighton and they lacked any zip, creativity or spark in attack against the Seagulls. It was a very un-Leeds performance.
Speaking to the BBC after the game, Bielsa admitted he is worried about the last two defeats in particular.
“Yes, of course, it worries me. These were three games that could have resulted in a different matter so it worries me – the game against Tottenham less – but the game in the cup and today worries me,” Bielsa said.
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What in particular concerned him?
Bielsa pointed to that lack of attacking creativity, and that Leeds didn’t win the ball back quick enough when Brighton had it.
“We didn’t defend as well as we could, especially in the capacity to recover the ball. We always had to recover in the moments that the opponents tried to attack and not in the final 30 minutes. We didn’t attack with the fluidity that we usually do. Those two aspects meant our performance wasn’t a good one. Given how the game played out I felt we could have managed a different result,” Bielsa said.
Is Bielsa correct to be concerned about Leeds?
Generally, Leeds looked very tired on a very soggy, heavy pitch at Elland Road. They will stay up comfortably this season, but Bielsa is a demanding man and that is starting to show.
Bielsa is known for running his players into the ground and around this time each season Leeds have struggled.
It is now up to the legendary Argentine coach to help his players regain their intensity and the fact they have a 10-day break until their next Premier League game should help, as their midweek game against Southampton was postponed due to the Saints have an FA Cup game rearranged.
Leeds are having a little blip, but they are still 10 points above the relegation zone and have dealt well with lots of defensive injuries in their first season back in the Premier League. You have to put that into perspective, with Llorente, Koch and Phillips all missing against Brighton.
Speaking of key players missing defensively, goalkeeper Illan Meslier was missing on Saturday and Bielsa confirmed he was ill. When asked if it was COVID-19 related, he said “you shouldn’t be asking that.”