Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa believes 'habits are difficult to modify' with players under pressure over goal celebrations

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Increased Covid-19 measures have been introduced by the Premier League this week.

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa believes "habits are difficult to modify" with players under mounting pressure to halt goal celebrations due to Covid-19.

The Premier League has asked clubs to ensure that "unnecessary contact" is avoided between playing staff and coaches with chief executive Richard Masters writing to teams to remind them of their responsibilities this week.

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England is currently in its third national lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic but elite sport has been allowed to continue behind closed doors.

Leeds United's players celebrate at West Brom. Pic: GettyLeeds United's players celebrate at West Brom. Pic: Getty
Leeds United's players celebrate at West Brom. Pic: Getty

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been criticised for his admission that he wasn't sure whether his players would be able to implement the celebration rules, citing "instinct" in the heat of the moment in the aftermath of a goal as the main reason.

Pre-match handshakes have been scrapped while social distancing between teams is observed up until kick-off.

New away changing rooms have been introduced at Elland Road for the visiting team and players enter the pitch separately before the first whistle of the match.

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The Premier League has reportedly been under increasing pressure from the government to reiterate social distancing measures to players at all times where possible, which includes after a goal is scored during a game.

The top flight said on Thursday that they had introduced increased measures for clubs to follow in a joint-statement released with the EFL and Football Association.

Bielsa - who was speaking ahead of his side's clash with Brighton on Saturday afternoon in LS11 - was asked his thoughts on the matter and Guardiola's comments earlier this week.

"Habits are very difficult to modify, especially those that come as emotions," Bielsa conceded.

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"I understand completely what [Pep] Guardiola is trying to say but from our side we will do everything possible to adhere to the rules."

Asked about whether he had reminded his players of the guidelines, he said: "All the rules proposed, always we review them and make sure they are being adhered to."

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