Marcelo Bielsa admitted that Leeds United were in a “bad moment” after Blackburn Rovers inflicted their second defeat of the season at Ewood Park.
Bielsa described United’s 2-1 loss this afternoon as a game his side “needed to win” and voiced concern about a run of results which has yielded nine points from seven matches.
Leeds passed up an opportunity to temporarily climb back to the top of the Championship table and were picked off at Blackburn by two headers scored with free headers from corners.
Danny Graham struck first in the second minute, nodding home Harrison Reed’s delivery, and Darragh Lenihan settled the game 20 minutes from time after losing his marker at the back post.
Mateusz Klich had earlier pulled Leeds level seconds before half-time, tapping home Gaetano Berardi’s cut-back, and he was denied late on by a fine save from Blackburn goalkeeper David Raya as Bielsa’s players scrambled to claim another equaliser.
United made a dramatic start under Bielsa’s management, rising quickly to the top of the league in August and remaining unbeaten for eight games but his squad are on a run of three wins in 10 after their defeat at Ewood Park.
Bielsa said: “It's a loss and it's happened in a bad moment for us. We needed to win this game especially after the draw in the last home game (against Brentford).
“Negative results are always a source of worry but I also evaluate the play and the feelings I have about the game today are better than the ones I had after the last game. The offensive play against Brentford was not as good as the play today. I’m not talking about the chances we had but about how we built.
“It’s normal that in such a long competition you have ups and downs but I gave such an importance to today’s game because if we’d won, we couldn’t evaluate it as a low moment. Now, if we link the last draw and this loss we have to conclude that we are in a low or bad moment.
“Our goal today was to avoid our result going through a negative cycle. Now we had to find solutions as soon as possible.”
Bielsa was without both of his first-choice full-backs at Ewood Park, the injured Barry Douglas and the suspended Luke Ayling, and he pinpointed defensive failings as the cause of United’s defeat.
The Argentinian was forced into an early reshuffle and admitted he made a mistake by starting with Stuart Dallas on the right side of defence and Gaetano Berardi on the left.
“We didn't defend as well as we usually do,” Bielsa said. “The rivals created difficulties but we could have avoided the goals they scored.
“Our offensive play was good enough. We lost against a rival who is not better than us. Maybe a draw would have reflected better what happened in the game.”
Asked how much attention he paid to defending set-pieces in training, Bielsa said: “As much as I can. We work on set-pieces each week.”