Marcelo Bielsa defends Adam Forshaw and Kalvin Phillips after Leeds United's City Ground slip

Adam Forshaw, right.
Adam Forshaw, right.
Have your say

MARCELO BIELSA said Adam Forshaw would not be judged for his error in the New Year’s Day loss at Nottingham Forest with the Leeds United head coach describing the midfielder as “the contrary of an irresponsible player.”

Bielsa also believed the late tackle that led to fellow midfielder Kalvin Phillips’ straight-red card was down to showing ambition rather than an attempt to hurt his opponent.

Forshaw endured a miserable afternoon at the City Ground with the 27-year-old’s weak back-pass in the fifth minute pounced upon by Jack Colback who rounded ‘keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell to give the hosts the lead.

After a disappointing all-around performance, Forshaw apologised for his performance on social media shortly after the contest’s conclusion but Bielsa said he would not base his assessment of the midfielder’s display solely on his fifth-minute mistake.

Asked if he needed to say anything to Forshaw after his error at the City Ground, Bielsa said: “They are recommendations that you don’t have to make.

“We always take into account the fact that if we have to tell things, when do we have to tell them and how do we tell these things.

“When you have a irresponsible player obviously you have to put limits to the excesses but if there is a player that is exactly the contrary of an irresponsible player it is Adam Forshaw. Of course we talked about it.

“We lost also some balls in the previous games. But I can’t judge the performance of Adam Forshaw for this specific thing, even if it was a mistake.”

Writing on his Instagram page on New Year’s Day evening, Forshaw said: “Hold my hands up, poor on the first goal and simply not good enough.

“Sorry to all the fans and the lads - but we put it right in the next game. Thanks for all the support.”

Bielsa also believed the late tackle that led to fellow midfielder Phillips’ red card was down to a miscalculation of when the midfielder would connect with the ball rather than any malice.

Asked if the challenge on Adlene Guedioura was necessary, Bielsa said: “We can’t say that they are necessary fouls.

"Even if you have fouls that can avoid the development of an offensive action I always think we have alternative paths rather than making a foul.

“Obviously it was not a necessary foul.

“But the evaluation of this action has to be looked at on a different aspect - it’s just that the football player thinks he’s going to arrive on time and he makes a big effort to arrive on time.

“I don’t think the intention was to hurt the opponent. It was a big ambition from Kalvin Phillips to reach the ball, to get the ball. That’s how I see things.

"Taking into account these facts it’s hard for me to condemn this decision. We have decisions that the players can avoid. This kind of decision, if it’s not a prudent decision, the ambition was to reach the ball.”

Phillips also apologised for his late tackle on social media, saying: “I apologise to my team mates and our amazing travelling fans for my red card. I mistimed my tackle, I accept responsibility and I will make up for my mistake.”