Leeds United v Bristol City: Marcelo Bielsa confident of achieving goals and offering no excuses at Whites

OPTIMISTIC: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
OPTIMISTIC: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
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MARCELO BIELSA is confident of achieving his goals at Leeds United and will make no excuses should his men’s Championship season end in failure.

Bielsa’s men return from a two-week absence at home to out-of-form Bristol City today with an injury-hit Leeds themselves looking to bounce back from a 4-1 hiding at West Brom in their last game before the international break.

That reverse knocked the Whites off top spot and down into third but United are only three points behind leaders Norwich City and just one adrift of the automatic promotion places and the second-placed Baggies.

Bielsa was recruited as the highest paid coach on the club’s history to change the fortunes of a side who fell away to finish a disappointing 13th under Thomas Christiansen and then Paul Heckingbottom last term having agonisingly missed out on a place in the play-offs when finishing seventh under Garry Monk in 2017.

Bielsa is reluctant to disclose his own personal target for the season but the 63-year-old Argentinian says he is confident of fulfilling his aims at Leeds with the former Argentina and Chile boss believing an optimistic approach is the only route to success.

Despite having seven first team players out with injury, the South American will also seek no hiding place should 2018-19 end up being another disappointing campaign.

Asked what his goals were for the season and if he thought he would reach them, Bielsa smiled: “I think I will reach them because I am optimistic.

“And you have to be optimistic if you are in professional sport. And because I make plans and I work hard.

“That’s why if I don’t reach the goals I have no excuse for that.

“I never tell what I hope to happen when we are at each stage of the competition.

“Our goals are marked by what we do every game.”

Either Will Huffer or Kamil Miazek will start in goal against Bristol City with first-team ‘keepers Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Jamal Blackman both injured.

Blackman has returned back to Chelsea with his season over having broken his leg while Peacock-Farrell is sidelined with a knee problem.

EFL rules allow Leeds to explore the possibility of singing another goalkeeper on an emergency loan deal.

Centre-back Pontus Jansson will also miss the clash against the Robins with a foot injury, joining longer-term absentees Luke Ayling, Gaetano Berardi and Patrick Bamford on the sidelines.