Marcelo Bielsa has no gripes with play-offs format as Leeds United warm up at Ipswich Town

LEEDS UNITED head coach Marcelo Bielsa has applauded the Championship's play-off structure as part of an "unforgettable" season coaching in English football's second tier.
POPULAR: Marcelo Bielsa.POPULAR: Marcelo Bielsa.
POPULAR: Marcelo Bielsa.

Bielsa's Leeds looked set to win automatic promotion to the Premier League by finishing in the top two yet a disastrous Easter weekend left the Whites behind Sheffield United who along with Norwich City are going up through the automatic promotion spots.

Following today's regular season finale at Ipswich Town (kick-off 12.30pm), Bielsa and Leeds are now heading for the end of season lottery of the play-offs with little advantage to show despite finishing at worst nine points clear of whoever ends up in sixth.

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Yet Bielsa admits the presence of the play-offs leads to a more competitive division and one which the 63-year-old Argentinian will never forget coaching in.

"I think we should put a limit somewhere," said Bielsa, analysing the presence of the play-offs.

"If the team that finishes third was promoted you will only have possibilities for three teams and expectancies for three teams.

"With the play-offs, you have expectancies for the two teams that get automatically promoted and for the four teams that finish between third place and sixth place.

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"I don't think I am the right person to make an opinion but from what I saw I saw that have you only a few teams that didn't have anything at stake in the last games because many teams played either for for the sixth position or to avoid getting relegated.

"For me, it’s an unforgettable experience to have experienced this Championship because I have discovered many pitches, many fans and I lived many experiences."

Bielsa also insisted that he is yet to start analysing who United might face in the play-offs which will be decided on Sunday's final day of the season.

Leeds need a draw at already relegated bottom side Ipswich Town to seal a third-placed finish, no matter how fourth placed West Brom get on at sixth-placed Derby County.

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A third-placed finish would mean a two legged semi final against one of Derby, Middlesbrough or Bristol City who are scrapping it out for sixth on the final day.

Defeat for Leeds and a win for the Baggies at Pride Park would leave United fourth and heading for a semi-final against Aston Villa who are guaranteed to finish in fifth.

But asked whether he had began looking at who Leeds might face in the play-offs, Bielsa revealed that Eduardo Berizzo - his former assistant boss at Chile - once warned him about the dangers of taking in too much research with United's head coach making a light-hearted quip about his own episode with this season's spygate drama.

Leeds were fined £200,000 in February and formally reprimanded following an investigation into Bielsa instructing staff to spy on opponents' training sessions.

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Bielsa has since revealed that he paid the fine through his own money.

Bielsa said: "There's a big, important head coach that I admire and I love Eduardo Berizzo and he told me one day that you take the risk of being paralysed because of the excessive analysis and I respond with this anecdote.

"I always have more data than what I need really actually and see what happened to me because I looked for all this data."

Asked if he was ever tempted to change, Bielsa laughed: "Every day. But as I have been doing the same things for many years, now, it's inside myself, I cannot change it.

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"When you are as old as me, sometimes we tend to give advices or draw conclusions as advices.

"The obsession, that's what we are talking about, it doesn't improve people, it makes people worse but there is an ideology that links obsession with efforts and work and you know in which segment of the society are the workers and those who make efforts and a segment, a class of society tells the workers that if you work hard you will get rewarded and of course the effort has a reward but the message is not transmitted like that.

"This message is used like that because it's the interests of one class to send this message to the workers.

"That's why the obsession for the work that is well done is as bad as the absence of efforts."