Marcelo Bielsa reveals admiration for burdened Leeds United's Under-23s following PDL triumph
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has revealed his admiration for the Whites Under-23s side after they sealed the Professional Development League title.
United's development side were crowned national champions on Monday afternoon following a penalty shoot-out victory over Birmingham City at Elland Road.
Carlos Corberan had already guided his young charges to the PDL North title in March, but added more silverware to cap off a fine season in front of a near-8,000 strong crowd in LS11.
Bielsa has relied heavily on the Under-23s to provide cover for injuries in his senior ranks this season and fill out his bench on occasion.
The Argentine has also made his a host of first-team players available for the Under-23s fixture on a regular basis in a boost to keep his fringe players match sharp.
Bielsa, who was speaking ahead of tomorrow's play-off clash with Derby, revealed his admiration for Corberan and his coaching staff after their triumph despite what he believed was a heavy burden from the senior side.
"I am very happy for them first of all," Bielsa stated.
"The achievement is even more important because it’s not that we were at the service of the disposal of Under-23s, it's that the Under-23s were at the disposal of the first-team.
"From a sports point of view they have done things that were not convenient for them. Especially for the the head coaches who were very generous, Carlos and his staff.
"They have done many things for the needs of the first-team that have gone against the interest of the Under-23s. These things didn’t make it easier for them to reach the national title, it made it harder.
"Because, for example when they had to play a game with three substitutions made before the game, this is an act of generosity that is not frequent and it's a difficulty, a complication for the team that has to play in these conditions.
"It was hard for the Under-23s to prepare for the game (against Birmingham) because until the last day they did not know which players were going to play.
"They were very generous of us and we were very demanding of them. In spite of our demands, because the first-team is the priority, they won the national title so we are grateful and we feel a lot of admiration for them."