Birmingham City boss Pep Clotet on Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa: 'For me he is the best manager in the country, in the world maybe'
Pep Clotet loves Marcelo Bielsa, unashamedly.
The Birmingham City boss waxed lyrical about his opposite number in the wake of a 5-4 defeat by Leeds United at St Andrew's on Sunday.
Clotet often speaks highly of the Whites, his former employer, and before the game expressed his hope that the Blues could follow the Whites' lead in showing patience for a developing team and a developing philosophy.
After the game, he was asked about the challenge of facing Bielsa, the man Huddersfield manager Danny Cowley calls a 'pioneer.'
Clotet went even further, admitting that what he was about to say may sound strange.
"I love Marcelo," he said.
"I can say it, for me he is the best manager in the country, in the world maybe, possibly.
"For me, testing ourselves, challenging ourselves against a team I know will be very well organised, being able to go toe to toe with them is a fantastic experience."
Clotet alluded to the fact that his words might not go down so well in some quarters, given his side's defeat and a run of 11 games with just a single victory.
But he was happy to admit that he has borrowed ideas from Bielsa and happy to come up against the Argentine once again.
"It's a personal thing that should not really be discussed because the important thing is about the team," he said.
"[But] I love the football he plays, I stole a lot of things from him, [we] steal things from everyone all the time, but it's always a pleasure to see him."