'I have only heard praise' - Marcelo Bielsa on Paul Heckingbottom's short stint as Leeds United boss

Marcelo Bielsa says he has only ever heard good things about Paul Heckingbottom's short tenure as Leeds United boss.
Sheffield United interim manager Paul Heckingbottom. Pic: GettySheffield United interim manager Paul Heckingbottom. Pic: Getty
Sheffield United interim manager Paul Heckingbottom. Pic: Getty

The Whites welcome Sheffield United to Elland Road this afternoon in Premier League action as the top flight resumes after the March international break.

Heckingbottom - who spent five months in charge in LS11 in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign - will return as interim Blades head coach following the exit of Chris Wilder at Bramall Lane.

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Bielsa replaced the outgoing former Barnsley boss in West Yorkshire nearly three years ago following his short stint in charge at Leeds.

United have since achieved top flight status under the Argentine and sit 11th in the standings with nine game remaining.

“The people who remain at the club and worked under him, they have a very good concept of the work he did here," Bielsa said ahead of kick-off.

"I have only heard praise given for the time he was here.

“After the time it takes for players to mature and to be able to get the best of their abilities, they happen in different moments.

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“What I value a lot is that a great portion of the players which are the base of the team, were here when he was around.”

Asked about whether he'd seen any impact imprinted on the Blades from Heckingbottom in his time in charge, Bielsa said: "They were two different games.

"Two games is not enough to observe major changes.

“It’s very difficult that a coach can generate big changes in such a short space of time. Clearly, the game against Chelsea was a game of a very good level.”