Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa explains Pablo Hernandez absence against Middlesbrough

Leeds United's Pablo Hernandez missed the 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough.
Leeds United's Pablo Hernandez missed the 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough.
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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has revealed the reason why playmaker Pablo Hernandez missed the 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough on Friday evening.

The Argentine saw his side earn a hard-fought point against Tony Pulis' men in the Championship at Elland Road under the lights as both sides failed to make the most of their opportunities.

United were missing the Spaniard, who played a starring role during last weekends 3-0 win over Norwich City, and his creativity was a huge loss during a gruelling evening in LS11 in which both sides cancelled each other out for much of the encounter.

Bielsa though has now revealed the reason behind Hernandez' absence citing a 'muscular' issue for the winger: "He could have played but we would have taken a risk to put him in the starting XI.

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"He was tired from a muscular point of view and we didn’t have enough time to ensure he wouldn't worsen if he played."

Bielsa opted for the return of club captain Liam Cooper over Pontus Jansson in the centre of defence with Jack Harrison coming in for the injured Hernandez in the only two changes from the trip to Carrow Road.

The 63-year-old admitted that he had been impressed by the Manchester City loanee in the absence of the tricky Spaniard in what was a difficult game for the 21-year-old to be thrown into.

"In a game like the game of tonight for an offensive player to perform is pretty hard," Bielsa continued.

"Taking into account this difficultly, the performance of [Jack] Harrison was a positive one even if it was not decisive. He created interesting actions on his side."