Marcelo Bielsa opens up on reasons for staying at Leeds United and belonging with Whites

MARCELO BIELSA admits the passion, culture and support of Leeds United has become infectious with the Argentinian feeling a sense of "belonging" at Elland Road for a second season in charge.

Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 2:48 pm
POPULAR: Head coach Marcelo Bielsa has been all the rage with Leeds United's fans and the South American has found the club's support infectious. Picture by Simon Hulme.

Leeds made former Argentina boss Bielsa the highest paid coach in their history last summer with United's Bielsa-ball football sweeping the Championship aside only to end in tears in the final month.

Whites chairman Andrea Radrizzani, though, successfully exercised the option to extend Bielsa’s contract for a second season and a quickly developing love for the club and its fans proved key in the head coach's decision to stay.

Bielsa will begin a second crack at hauling the Whites out of the Championship and into the Premier League with Sunday's season opener at Bristol City.

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Opening up about his decision to stay at the club, Bielsa said: "When you are talking about Marching On Together and everybody hates us, it is a sentence that is very clear and it is a thing I feel too.

"When you belong, for a second year, in a sentence like this - there aren't a lot in the rest of the world like this.

"There are a lot of clubs better than Leeds United but there aren't a lot of clubs with this feeling that unites everybody and this passion and culture about the club."

Pressed about the quest to atone for last year's double case of heartache in first the automatic promotion race and then the play-offs, Bielsa said: "Our hope, our illusion is very clear.

"But if you are talking about the things that did not happen last season with too much enthusiasm, something that is close but finally you receive a bad feeling.

"But when you are negative it is not good too.

"So we will have to go and find the point that is in the middle - not too much positive and not too negative. I have to go with this.

"Last season, we can imagine this future that we are talking about after 30 matches last season.

"After the 30 matches you are thinking if you can promote or not promote.

"So you have to pass the first 15 or 30 matches to know what you deserve."