Leeds United v Bolton Wanderers: Forget Norwich, with Marcelo Bielsa focused on own strategy against the Trotters
MARCELO BIELSA believes Norwich City’s 4-0 thrashing of Bolton Wanderers has raised expectancy for Leeds United to follow suit when Bielsa is primarily focused on any sort of victory.
Third-placed Leeds will return from a ten-day break with Saturday’s Championship hosting of the second-bottom Trotters who have lost six of their last eight.
United’s promotion rivals Norwich eased to a 4-0 victory at the University of Bolton Stadium last weekend as a brace from Teemu Pukki either side of goals from Marco Stiepermann and
Emiliano Buendia had the Canaries 4-0 up after 56 minutes en route to moving top of the division.
Norwich even squandered the opportunity to bag a nap hand when Kenny McLean missed a second-half penalty but the Canaries were still able to significantly boost their goal difference which is now six goals better than United’s.
Bielsa, though, says his men’s initial objective is on the crucial matter of bagging another three points as part of a key weekend which sees Norwich welcome sixth-placed Bristol City and second-placed Sheffield United travel to fourth-placed West Brom in the Saturday evening kick-off.
Leeds are just two points behind the Blades and Canaries but with a game in hand.
Asked if it was realistic to expect Leeds to beat Bolton convincingly, Bielsa reasoned: “The expectancy is due to the fact Norwich won 4-0 against Bolton.
“We are focused on winning, that’s our first goal and then we are focused on deserving to win and then we will try to make the most important difference possible.
“This is our idea for this game. I couldn’t make any opinion on winning convincingly or not.”
Leeds had to settle for winning by a one-goal margin when the two teams met at Bolton in mid-December with the returning Patrick Bamford netting a 66th-minute winner.The Trotters have won just twice since, losing seven of their next 11 league games.
Bielsa reasoned: “I have a global idea of the team of Bolton, but my knowledge is not that detailed to make any comparison between the team two months ago and the team right now.”
Bielsa is also warning against the unpredictable nature of the Championship ahead of a tie for which Bolton are as big as 16-1.
The Trotters are three points adrift of safety and a whopping 35 points behind the Whites though Bielsa has taken stock from Bolton’s recent 1-0 triumph at ninth-placed Birmingham City which preceded their collapse against the Canaries.
“It’s very difficult to confirm in the games the differences you find in the table,” said Bielsa.
“If we have a look at the table we could think Birmingham couldn’t lose against Bolton and Bolton won.
“You have opposite examples too.
“The norm in the Championship is you won’t have any team that will beat easily another team.”