Leeds United v Reading: Marcelo Bielsa hails Jamal Blackman shirt celebration and 'human qualities' of Whites squad
MARCELO BIELSA says his players' decision to show public support for injured goalkeeper Jamal Blackman in Saturday's 2-0 win against Bristol City highlights the "human qualities" within his squad.
Leeds celebrated Saturday's opening goal against the Robins with skipper Liam Cooper holding aloft a green goalkeeping jersey with a message of support for former loanee Blackman who recently broke his leg playing for United's 23s and has now returned to parent club Chelsea.
Looking on from the touchline, head coach Bielsa was unsure what the green jersey was being held aloft for and initially believed Cooper and his men were showing support for the Elland Road groundsmen who also wear green.
But United's head coach is pleased his players decided to display a public show of support for Blackman who Bielsa himself described as a "great person" as well as a great player.
"Immediately I saw the human quality of our team," said Bielsa.
"I can't talk about English football in general I can talk about what happens in Leeds and I can draw two conclusions.
"I can say that Blackman is not only a great professional, but is also a great person. And it's not frequent that the groups underline the quality of a player. Usually you get the reward when the human aspect is important in a group. So Jamal Blackman is a great person and the Leeds United team is a team where the human quality is very important.
"I'm just finding out that the players showed Blackman's shirt. I saw the green shirt. Let me tell you what I thought at that moment. At the beginning I thought it was linked to the gardeners of the stadium because they always wear green. And I didn't see it was Blackman's shirt with a message in it. So I'm very happy that the team-mattes did that to Jamal."