Leeds United v Brighton: Marcelo Bielsa press conference on team news boost, Crawley Town cup exit and Ben White

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ALL the latest news as Whites head coach Marcelo Bielsa faces the media ahead of Saturday's return to Premier League action at home to fourth-bottom Brighton.

Leeds will be looking to bounce back from Sunday's 3-0 defeat at League Two outfit Crawley Town in the FA Cup third round and Bielsa will be facing the press at 12.30pm.

All the latest news will follow here after the press conference's conclusion.

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Reaction to Crawley defeat in training - has it been positive, what did you learn and what are you expecting from Brighton?

SATURDAY SHOWDOWN: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, left, and Brighton boss Graham Potter, right. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.SATURDAY SHOWDOWN: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, left, and Brighton boss Graham Potter, right. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.
SATURDAY SHOWDOWN: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, left, and Brighton boss Graham Potter, right. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.

"I can't say anything different to what I have already said. Of course the interpretation of what the opponent did was heroic, a miracle, it was very good. And we were humiliated and ridiculed by the opponent. The results allows you to come to these conclusions, when the weaker team wins the interpretation you can - they are the ones that I have said. It's natural, logical and fair that it is so. There were 60 positions between the two teams, this is Crawley's best result in their history and this is Leeds' fifth worst loss in their history. So the conclusions are fair and like in all the places where it doesn't go well we try to look at why the things that we didn't want to happen happened. We see also the treatment that other teams receive in similar situations like for example Bayern Munich and Athletico Madrid who were also dumped out of the cup but of course we can't compare ourselves to them, they suffered similar defeats in the cup to the one we suffered and I always look to see the treatment that these teams have towards these losses and I try to extract whatever I can to bring to my team."

On the Covid restrictions - handshakes and goal celebrations - how difficult is that in an emotional game? Have you had to remind players of responsibilities?

"All the rules that are proposed, we are always constantly looking at them to make sure they are being adhered to."

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The half time changes at Crawley - can you explain how you felt they would win the game?

"I have to give you a varied response. Cooper and Pascal were in the starting XI but as we are without Phillips, Koch and Llorente I have to be careful with the minutes that we have. As Tyler Roberts was unwell, the option of Rodrigo and Harrison in attack becomes a necessity. After any unprecedented event, in an unprecedented event, Pablo can be an attacking mid and Rodrigo the striker and if Rodrigo is not on the field Harrison becomes the third option in attack if Tyler is not available, I know what position Harrison plays in but I have to be cautious to the needs of the team. With respect to Poveda, he was the player who unbalanced the most in the first half and after 15 minutes in the second half to have subbed him wasn't he correct decision because in the first half he had managed to unbalance the opponent. In those 15 minutes I noticed that we were making inroads through the left channel and I wanted to keep Helder on the pitch given that Poveda had already had 30 minutes against Tottenham and that's why I decided to make that change. With respect to the young players, Jenkins and Casey and Greenwood, they are in an under 23 team that has been growing and been shining, they are players who can be submitted to some bigger challenges than the under 23s games, and there was a lot of expectations that these players could have minutes as well as Cresswell and Gelhardt because they have been playing well to deserve minutes. With regards to the players that didn't play, Klich, Dallas, Ayling, Bamford, they are players that are never given rests and it was prudent that they didn't participate in this game. I can't ignore that I made 3 changes and that the result wasn't the expected one. Because in the first half we dominated, we didn't create too many chances but we were arriving in the opponents' box and dominating. In the second half in 20 minutes that all changed. I think that the 3 young lads, Casey, Jenkins and Grenwood had to play the most difficult minutes and I can't hold any player responsible for the defeat, especially not the younger ones, or the unbalance that was happening in the game. One of things that I thought - the distribution of the minutes and the players that took part wasn't the correct one and that is a decision that has to be with me. I perhaps could have combined the same platers differently and give all the players their corresponding minutes. Evidently the team in the first half had balance and the team in the second half didn't and I was responsible for picking both of those XIs."

On Ben White, did he exceed expectations at Leeds and how far can he go? One of the top clubs maybe?

"All of us here, we admire him as a player. And we respect him and love him as a human being. He was an excellent professional as well as a team mate . And I hope that his career allows him to grow because he deserves it."

Team news - Roberts Anyone else?

"Llorente and Roberts and Cooper are all available."

Anyone other than Phillips unavailable

"No, just Philips."

What have you made of White's displays in the Prem?

"Ben White has shown that he is a Premier League player."

Can humiliation in the cup act as motivation?

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"The words ridiculed and embarrassed and humiliated are not the words I would use to characterise the performance, we took the game very seriously. We were deservedly beaten and there were 20 minutes where we couldn't manage the team. And the goals that the opponent managed to score were deserved. And we didn't create enough chances given the amount of time we had the ball. After, there are different ways that you can treat a result. For example the story of Tsaroulla the no 25 of Crawley it was good fortune the moment that he managed in the game, it brought to life the story of hardship he had to go through. And a homage paid to the fans to the people of Crawley who have had to go through a lot due to the pandemic. That was this club's most important result in 125 years - that is one way you can look at the game. Or the fact that they celebrated their victory by getting drunk or by getting the fact that they brought in an actor in the second half to add to the humiliation. Of course they are all legitimate views but I try to stay with the best one of the moment that we had to go through. But I don't feel that we had to feel embarrassed but nobody knows the hurt we had to go through because of this defeat but that we went into this game taking it seriously and the terms that were used of ridiculed, humiliated, nightmare, we accept them and we understand they can be viewed in this manner. Responding specifically to your question - never do we look at a defeat in a destructive manner, we always look at it so that we can try and learn from it."

Can you trust Casilla or do you feel like you need to turn to Caprile to cover Meslier?

"No, I fully trust in Kiko. And I will do the utmost possible to help him. I think that the treatment that Kiko has suffered, it ignores the fact that he is a player that played 40 games for Real Madrid. And apart from whether his performances were good or bad. we forget all the things that he has done to help the team to get promoted. And people also don't consider how he he is being treated publicly given the situation that he had to go through when he was suspended for 8 games and what he had to go through in this period. I believe in him, his team-mates, believe in him, and we are close to him because we value him as a person and as a footballer. We accept what people think about him, media or people, but we know his past, we know his conditions and we care about him a lot as a human being."

Is it too much to ask players not to hug when scoring? Like Guardiola says

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"Habits are very difficult to modify, especially those habits that come as a result of emotions. I understand completely what Guradiola is trying to say but from our side, we will do everything possible so that the rules are adhered to."

Where does Crawley defeat rank for you?

"No it's not one of the worst in my career I have had many and worse than this one."

On Mark Wright coming on - was that the ultimate humiliation

"No I don't explain myself well. I in no way judge if the player who came in or whatever his origin is. For me, he is a component of the opponent's team and he legitimately occupies that place. He came on like any other team mate came on, that's how I interpreted it. What I mentioned is how it was interpreted by the media, to find a way, of having an opinion on the game over something that has nothing to do with the football part as if the game itself didn't have enough elements to classify our performance as negative. But because it's not sufficient, they go to the fact of what he does and that this player came on the pitch. Or the lack of seriousness that we could have possibly faced this game. All of the extra footballing things add substance and colour, things that have no importance to make us look even more bad or stupid than we already feel. I reiterate that in no way should this change (Wright coming on) be criticised, the conditions that this player I don't link him to being in reality TV. I think he is there because he deserves to be there. Or the fact that a victory is celebrated by getting drunk, I also don't think it's something bad, not bad or good, but what I do signal like in the same thing linked to the question about Casilla because if someone says that Caprile should be in goal instead of Casila they ignore Casilla's career and everything that Casilla has suffered in the 8 game ban up until no,.The same treatment that was given to Casilla is similar to the same treatment that the questions that have an implied meaning. A player that is serious and has trained like Casilla, a player like Casila who has over 40 games for Real Madrid - one of the biggest clubs in the world and whether he should be replaced by a player who has not had one minute, the question doesn't allow me to. What this question is looking for is to humiliate Casilla because it has nothing to do with it but of course this is part of football. One day it's Meslier who gives bad pass and it results in a goal and whether it is a good idea to replace this 20 year old and put someone in like Casilla and the next day the question is whether a 19 year old who hasn't had any minutes is going to be involved because I might have lost faith in Casilla."

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