Leeds United: Bielsa balks at suggestion injury-hit squad is being overstretched

HEAD coach Marcelo Bielsa insists Leeds United's resources are not being stretched to the maximum despite the prospect of having four players injured for tomorrow's clash at Norwich City.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 4:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 4:50 pm
Marcelo Bielsa.

Captain Liam Cooper is facing between two and three weeks out with a hamstring injury with Whites team-mates Adam Forshaw and Stuart Dallas also ruled out of Saturday’s Championship clash at Norwich City with injuries.

Bielsa is also “waiting for news” about centre-back Pontus Jansson after a recent back problem.

Cooper pulled his hamstring during the warm-up before Tuesday night’s Championship encounter and 2-2 draw at Swansea City and United have stated that the 26-year-old is likely to be sidelined for between two and three weeks. Northern Ireland international Dallas has returned to training after his recent quad injury but Bielsa has revealed the winger will not feature in Saturday’s clash at Carrow Road in addition to midfielder Forshaw, who is still recovering from damage to the ligaments in his foot.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Adam Forshaw. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Sweden international Jansson has returned to training after a recent back injury which forced the centre-back to miss Tuesday’s trip to Swansea City though Bielsa is still waiting to see if the 27-year-old will be able to face the Canaries.

“Cooper won’t be able to play, neither Dallas, neither Forshaw,” said Bielsa, asked about his latest team news.

“We are waiting for more news regarding Jansson. We will see if he can play or not.”

Asked if it was fair to say that United’s resources are being stretched to the maximum at the moment, Bielsa insisted: “No, not at all.

Stuart Dallas. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“Because if we do the maths we have four players less – Dallas, Forshaw, Cooper are three that we have mentioned who won’t be able to play.

“If we have the fourth one out it would be Jansson but we already knew that.

“We work also with the under-23s and we have some players playing in these position who could offer us some solutions.”