'Didn’t happen at all' - Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa slams false Kalvin Phillips reports, pre-Brentford press conference every word

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa spoke to the media on Friday morning ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash against Brentford at Elland Road.

REUNION: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, left, and Brentford boss Thomas Frank, right, the pair having previously met as Championship rivals. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.
REUNION: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, left, and Brentford boss Thomas Frank, right, the pair having previously met as Championship rivals. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.

Leeds will be looking to build on Tuesday night's last-gasp 1-0 success at home to Crystal Palace which put the Whites up to 15th and five points clear of the drop zone.

Newly-promoted Brentford were in action last night at Tottenham Hotspur, the Bees falling to a 2-0 defeat, and Thomas Frank's side have had two days less to prepare for Sunday's 2pm kick-off in West Yorkshire.

Bielsa spoke to the press at 8.15am and here is every word from the Whites head coach.

Leeds United v Brentford - Marcelo Bielsa press conference - every word

Last updated: Friday, 03 December, 2021, 09:55

  • Sunday 2pm kick-off at Elland Road
  • Marcelo Bielsa spoke to the media at 8.15pm on Friday morning

It’s not quite Monday’s 8am levels but Marcelo Bielsa is holding his pre-Brentford press conference at 8.15am this morning. All the latest news to follow here live. Coffee time.

Members of the media are all gathered by Zoom, Marcelo will be with us in the next few minutes.

Marcelo takes his seat

Is there extra significance to winning on Sunday given the games ahead and what would back to back wins mean?

“To win consecutively fortifies you. We focus on every game independent of who comes next but given the amount of fixtures we have played up until now, the points that we have got on the board are few and every fixture is an opportunity to balance our numbers.”

On Ayling and Bamford - will they be involved on Sunday?

“It is likely that they will be available for the game on Sunday.”

On Brentford and on them playing last night

“Normally teams go adapting to the amount of days of rest that they have and our objective is that the intensity is always something that identifies us. So far, Brentford have shown to be a different team in the Premier League, the most significant thing and the most novel thing that I have seen is the amount of elements that they attack with and the management that they have of the ball in all the sectors of the pitch.”

Is there any chance that Ayling, Bamford or Koch could play for the under 23s against Leicester today?

“In principle no.”

On Struijk - is he available and what is his injury?

“We think he will be available for the game on Sunday, he has a knock around his hip but we think he will be available.”

On Meslier’s displays - where has he improved particularly?

He is a goalkeeper with a lot of personality, he is a goalkeeper who transmits security, he has weight with decisive interventions and they are interventions that have the same weight as a goal in our favour and he has resolved these types of actions.”

On the false reports of you falling out with Kalvin - how disappointing was that?

“It’s what is common in the world of football. It is difficult to express yourself over things that didn’t happen and that there is nothing behind it and that they are expressed as a reality. There are things that correspond to the private part of a relationship so perhaps the media talks about these things that are hidden. But this is a next step. This was describing something that didn’t happen at all. What I am saying is that it is the way the press are, the objective is very clear, it is to bring attention through any type of resource. The press, not only do they inform, but they have the legitimate need that what they tell wakes up interest and in that process, on occasion it happens, that they invent realities to bring attention. But I insist in all this that I am saying that there is nobody better than the representatives of the press to explain it. As a result, for me to say this doesn’t make much sense. In all the countries in the world, the sensationalism occupies part of the press. But I think in England from my point of view it is less than elsewhere, normally that is because the material that they work with is precious because very few leagues have so much to say about something as precious as the Premier League.”

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