Derby County v Leeds United: Marcelo Bielsa on the influence that could help take Whites to the Premier League

Pablo Hernandez.
Pablo Hernandez.
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MARCELO BIELSA has highlighted the influence of Pablo Hernandez ahead of Leeds United's play-offs bid admitting "Leeds plays better when Pablo's influence is bigger."

Evergreen Hernandez has excelled throughout the 2018-19 campaign with the 34-year-old Spaniard having contributed 12 assists and 12 goals that have put him only two behind Kemar Roofe in the Whites' goalscoring charts.

Hernandez's rare below par displays have often coincided with poor results for his side and Bielsa readily admits that the Spaniard's displays are important to United's prospects of success.

Having narrowly missed out on automatic promotion spot to finish third, Leeds are now faced with the task of attempting to seal promotion through the play-offs with Bielsa's men visiting Frank Lampard's Derby County on Saturday evening for the semi-final first leg.

The return leg at Elland Road takes place next Wednesday evening with Aston Villa or West Brom awaiting in the final at Wembley on the Bank Holiday Monday at the end of May.

Hernandez's tally of 12 assists is the joint second best in the division with Norwich City's Emiliano Buendia, Hull City's Kamil Grosicki also having 12, two less than Brentford's Said Benrahma.

"I talk many times about what's the impact and influence of Pablo on our team," said Bielsa.

"When Pablo's influence is bigger, Leeds plays better. You have players that put their influence and their mark to the team and Pablo is one of them."