Javi Gracia's Leeds United press conference transcript in full: injury silence, tactics, Potter and facing Chelsea

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Leeds United head coach Javi Gracia hosts his pre-match press conference this afternoon ahead of the Whites’ trip to Chelsea this Saturday

Leeds make the journey to West London for the second time in five days as they prepare to take on Graham Potter’s ailing Blues at Stamford Bridge. Unlike Tuesday night’s FA Cup exit to Fulham, this time Leeds return to league action coming off the back of a long-awaited Premier League win last weekend at home to Southampton.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have failed to score in five of their last six matches, losing each of their last three in all competitions as pressure intensifies on former Brighton boss Potter. A report in the Telegraph earlier this week stated that Potter’s job could be under threat if the home side do not earn a result against Leeds.

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Gracia’s men have shown signs of improvement since the Spaniard took charge but the 52-year-old acknowledged there is still work to be done, particularly in terms of the team’s finishing which was wayward on Tuesday night at Craven Cottage.

The Leeds head coach will be joining the media from 1pm. Follow all the updates and everything he has to say right here.

Javi Gracia press conference LIVE

In all the sessions we try to help the players have the information they need to compete better. All the exercises are prepared with one objective, try to feel what in the next game they are going to live, anticipate the different situations that they can feel more comfortable in the next game. That’s the objective, to be well prepared with the information they need to live their best in the next game. Don’t change too much, they have to do the defensive work the same way, maybe they have to do something else defending but not too much. We don’t want to deny our offensive mentality, they have to be important in attack in one v one, in different situations in our attacks. We don’t want to limit them playing with two strikers.

Gracia on helping improve players’ finishing

I don’t know if I’m going to get it but I have to think I can do it. I have to help the players improve, we have to first during the game create the chances. After individually, trying to train more time to give them the confidence and security they need. It’s true after the game you have to do it. In the game I’m not there to finish [chances] with them.

My priority was try to look for the balance they need to be better defending and without letting our offensive mentality [slip]. This team is generous, very brave but at the same time it’s young and we need the experience they don’t have, but to create the mechanisms we need to be solid, compact like we did in the Southampton game to get a clean sheet.

Gracia on midfielders dropping in between central defenders

These kind of movements with midfielders trying to go in between [the centre-backs], it’s to try create superiority, to start with more space and time and to provoke something in the next line, to create superiorities. It’s one way to play against teams who use two strikers.

I think it’s important to start very aggressive, to continue very aggressive and to finish more aggressive. To go to Stamford Bridge it’s always very tough and I had that experience and I know how demanding the game will be. In this moment, the necessity they have as well in terms of points then we have to be very focused and prepare for a demanding game.

They were together before [I came]. It’s true results were not good, but we play against Southampton and change the dynamic. Now we need to keep going, it’s only a game, we know how difficult it is to win one point in the Premier League. We have to be constant, very demanding with ourselves, we want to continue getting points.

Gracia on what he’s changed

I want to be honest with you. When I arrive, I think they worked many times with other managers, technical staff and I think they did their job. Of course I tried to give them different options to attack or to defend and trying to be more compact. All the balance that I thought we needed to do. You have the time you have and you are a little bit limited. With the attitude and quality they have, of course I believe in the team and I think they are playing now with a balance, in different moments we want to play and this way I’m sure we have more chances to get results that we need. Different things we’re doing, different videos, different training sessions.

Gracia on beating Chelsea 4-1 with Watford

I remember perfectly that game because it was my second Premier League game, my first game at home. We won against Chelsea and I hope this will be the same. It was a very tough game, we were a little bit lucky because Bakayoko took a red card and after we played well but it helped us to get a great result

The only way you change the different opinions about you is with results, it’s the only way. What I can say is my opinion about Graham Potter and it is fantastic, he is a fantastic manager. I wish all the best to all the managers.

Gracia on players playing his style

Sometimes in a few days you are able to see the team playing in a way you like it but of course with time you can work on more things, set-pieces, to press, to defend and attack. We are preparing day-by-day, only focusing on the next game. If you have time, it will be better. They are good students, they are very fast and not only are they good players, I think they have the right attitude.