'I have no certainty the decisions I take are best' - Marcelo Bielsa on Pablo Hernandez and his newfound Leeds United role at Elland Road

The Whites head coach was asked about the Spanish playmaker.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 6:45 pm

Marcelo Bielsa has reiterated his belief in Leeds United playmaker Pablo Hernandez, saying he still has the ability to impact the Premier League this season.

Hernandez has made just two starts in the top flight this term after playing an instrumental role in helping the club to promotion last season.

The Spaniard scored nine and assisted a further nine times as the Whites lifted the Championship trophy by a 10-point margin, ending 16 years of hurt outside of England's highest division.

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Leeds United playmaker Pablo Hernandez in action at Liverpool. Pic: PA

The 35-year-old was briefly dropped from the first team squad earlier in the campaign following a negative reaction to being substituted in the Whites 4-1 defeat to Leicester City in November.

His only start since then has come in the FA Cup third round, where United were well beaten 3-0 by League Two outfit Crawley Town in early January.

Hernandez was linked with a move to Spanish side and Segenda outfit Castellon - the club who he co-owns - during the winter window just gone.

He has previously stated he would like to retire with his hometown team but United refused to let him depart last month with half the season still to play in West Yorkshire.

Bielsa was quizzed over the veteran's new role from the bench in his senior squad, and was asked about his ability to make an impact this season despite a lack of match minutes.

"I always act in the way I'm about to tell you, that I’ve said many times and I have no difficulty in explaining it once more," Bielsa told reporters.

"If I didn't think Pablo had the same possibilities as his team-mates and, specifically, those who play in his position, I wouldn’t have wanted him to be a part of the group especially because we're a group of few players.

"I wouldn't have picked a player to be part of the squad if I didn't think he offered solutions. And after the season goes by, game-by-game I take decisions.

"I have no certainty the decisions I take are the best ones, but I take them by closely evaluating the situation."

Hernandez is playing out his fifth season at Leeds having initially joined on loan from Al-Nasr at the start of the 2016-17 campaign and has 18 months left to run on his current deal.