Aston Villa v Leeds United press conference RECAP: Marcelo Bielsa on Kalvin Phillips, Pascal Struijk, Liam Cooper and Diego Llorente

ALL the latest news as Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa faces the media ahead of Friday night's quick return to action at Premier League hosts Aston Villa.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 2:12 pm
FRIDAY NIGHT BATTLE: Between Aston Villa boss Dean Smith, left, and Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.

Leeds are looking to bounce back from Monday's 1-0 defeat at home to Wolves but Dean Smith's side sit second in the table having won all four of their opening games.

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The Whites also have several injuries to contend with and United head coach Marcelo Bielsa will hold his pre-match press conference at 12.30pm.

Aston Villa v Leeds United: Marcelo Bielsa press conference RECAP

Last updated: Wednesday, 21 October, 2020, 13:16

  • Marcelo Bielsa facing media at 12.30pm.
  • Leeds face Villa in Friday 8pm kick-off at Villa Park.

That’s it from Marcelo

Struijk will replace Phillips in the holding midfield role. Llorente still out, Bielsa not sure about Cooper, Phillips could be facing a longer or shorter absence than six weeks.

On versatility in the squad

We have many players who can play in a number of positions, almost all of them, barring Bamford and Cooper, almost all of them play in more than one position. Being able to play in more than one position always helps the manager and it’s not that I force them to play in other positions, when you play in a certain position it leads you to do things in different positions, the wingers play on both sides, the full back s a lot of times do this as well, the defensive midfielders can act as centre backs and all these types of movements mean that players can play in different positions."

On the shape of the squad

“The squad is not small, as we have two players in every position, and there is not big differences between the two players who occupy every position. To make a refence for example we have Bamford and Roberts upfront, Pablo and Moreno in attacking midfield, on the right we have Costa and Poveda and on the left, we have Raphinha and Harrison and at the moment we currently have injuries in all the same position so that doesn’t mean we have a small squad. When you have six players all of a similar level, when you have some missing there is obviously going to be some issue and we also have players in the Academy who deserve their place in the squad and as a result we feel we can manage the necessities of the team.”

On Raphinha display against Wolves

“He showed presence in this minutes.”

On Berardi new deal - what can he offer whilst he is still injured?

“He is a reference to all of his team mates, his opinion is one that he changing room listens to and also the staff and when he he is able to recover he will bring something to the team as he always does.”

On the Wolves games - reflections now

“The game had three moments, the first half, and then a moment in the second half between the fifth minute and around the 25trh minute and then the final part of the game, the last 20 minutes or so, we lost our dominance, although they were not better than us we weren’t able to dominate as we had in the previous period and this was clear as we didn’t generate any danger in that 20 minute period. In a team like us that attacks it’s not good that when our attacks don’t create danger, during that 20 minute period although we were still an offensive team we didn’t manage to create any danger. When this happens the opponent feels that we are not able to cause them as much danger and this makes the game more even and whilst they didn’t create a lot of danger they scored a goal. And in the final 20 minutes we were able to dominate them as we did in the first half, we had a large percentage of dominance in the game, around 70 minutes of the 90, the individual performances were in general all good, we attacked well and we defended well, we created around eight to ten opportunities to score a goal but in those 20 minutes our opponent scored  and when you have a rival like we did on Monday who are very physical you enter a lot of duels, it is very important that the chances you create you make them into goals. So the conclusion is we understand why we lost the game even though we shouldn’t have as we dominated a large majority of it.”

On causing Premier League teams problems

“For an institution like us it is important for us to show every week that we deserve to be in the Premier League.”

On using the 23s as much and Mark Jackson

“Whilst there are players that will need minutes from the first team we will continue to work with the under-23s. From the short time we have been working together I can se he is a very capable man and he is a man who is very highly valued by Adam who is in charge of the Academy.”

On the timing of Phillips injury

“An injury is always uncomfortable and always comes at an inopportune time but it comes in a time that is very special for Kalvin.”

On Koch’s displays so far

“He has had the performances of a good level in all of his games, and in the first half against Wolves he had a performance above the level he had been showing which was already good.”

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