Fighting talk from Marcelo Bielsa as Leeds United face crunch clash with Brighton

Marcelo Bielsa is fighting for his job at Leeds United.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 10:30 pm

The Argentine is not under pressure in the way that managers are when things start to go seriously awry, supporters lose patience and club decision makers begin looking for a replacement, but he’s still fighting for his job because he believes he has to.

The Whites have enjoyed a remarkable period under Bielsa since his arrival in 2018, an appointment that shocked many around the world given his status as a former Argentina and Chile national team boss and a coach of significant renown among elite managers.

His tenure has included a near brush with promotion with a team largely made up of players who finished mid-table in the Championship the season before and then promotion to the Premier League.

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FIGHTING TALK: From Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, centre, pictured during Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Tottenham. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

Bielsa led the Whites back to the top flight for the first time in 16 years and promptly set about the big boys, bloodying famous noses en route to a top-10 finish.

This season has so far borne all the hallmarks of a more difficult challenge, with Leeds struggling for goals and wins amid a serious injury crisis.

United face hosts Brighton on Saturday looking for a vital win, sitting just above the Premier League drop zone.

Although Raphinha and Rodrigo are available again, Bielsa will still be without Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Robin Koch.

At the age of 66, adversity like that which he is currently facing is not wearying for him, but inflaming. It’s drawing determination from him to justify his position, one he cherishes for a number of reasons.

When asked if Leeds’ start to the season had dulled his desire to do the job after 31 years in management, he replied: “No, the total opposite.

“I have to fight to deserve what Leeds have done for me due to what they pay me, due to the affection that I receive, due to the construction of the project, whether that be the investment that they’ve made in the facilities, or the footballers.

“The least that I can do is be grateful and be a fighter against adversity as a minimal response to what I receive.”

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Thank you Laura Collins