'It's my job' - Marcelo Bielsa hoping to provide entertainment to Leeds United fans in lockdown

MARCELO BIELSA hopes his Leeds United side can help ease the woes of lockdown by providing entertainment for the club's fans, declaring: "It’s not my responsibility, it’s my job."

By Lee Sobot
Saturday, 7th November 2020, 11:59 am

The country is back in lockdown for the second time in the ongoing fight against coronavirus with Premier League football continuing but still without fans and behind closed doors.

United will take in their eighth game of the new top-flight season in south London today with a 3pm kick-off against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The clash is being screened as part of the Premier League's controversial pay-per-view service with fans being asked to fork out £14.95 to watch the game on BT Sport Box Office.

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HOPING TO HELP: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images.

Thereafter, the pay-per-view service is then set to be scrapped with the Premier League set to revert to the initial arrangement of having all games shown live as part of regular TV packages with their broadcast partners.

United's first game back after the forthcoming November international break will be live on Sky Sports as the Whites take on Arsenal at Elland Road on Sunday, November 22.

By then, the end of lockdown 2.0 could be in sight with Whites head coach Bielsa striving to provide entertainment in the meantime as part of what he is paid to do.

Asked if he felt a sense of responsibility once again to lift the spirits in lockdown, Bielsa said "It’s not my responsibility, it’s my job.

"If we can help to bring some entertainment or to make people feel better, then that would of course be great.

"I can’t give you a better answer as there are of course some people for whom watching football may not be help to ease their woes."

Reflecting on how important it was to adhere to the lockdown rules, Bielsa reasoned: "The players are also citizens and all citizens should abide by the rule.

"Perhaps I’m not the best person to talk as I once went to a supermarket without wearing my mask."

Bielsa has seen the consequences of COVID-19 affect his squad selection this week with record signing Rodrigo forced to miss Monday night's 4-1 loss at home to Leicester City having been in close contact with a family member n who has subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

Rodrigo himself then tested positive and the Spanish international is now self isolating meaning he will miss today's clash against Palace.

"He is training individually by himself and at the moment he is the only case that we have in the institution," said Bielsa.

"Thanks to the firmness of the medical team, the rules were issued very strictly and this is something I have thanked the medical team for.

"For every position on the pitch we have various options, we have some options. In the number nine and number ten position, Rodrigo is an option, but he is not the only option.

"It’s always good to have everybody available but the design of the squad is that so we can solve these problems.

"When a player is missing we cannot say he is not missed because that wouldn't be the case but also because he’s missing it doesn't mean we can't resolve his absence. For every game all teams are missing four or five players."

Reflecting on how his side could respond to Monday's defeat to Leicester and sizing up the threats offered by Palace, Bielsa reasoned: "They are a team that has four very important players in attack. They are a team who has a stable base.

"They have a distinct style of play which they don’t change and they improve and like the majority of the teams in the division they have had some very good moments but also some not very good moments. They are a team with experience."

Bielsa added: "The response (after Leicester) will be evaluated in the performance in the next game.

"The response is always subject to the result in the next game. What happens during the week we don’t give too much importance to it."

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Thank you Laura Collins