Leeds United v Crystal Palace - Marcelo Bielsa press conference: Whites boss on team news, Pablo Hernandez and the season so far

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa will meet the media on Friday lunchtime ahead of a top flight clash with Crystal Palace.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 1:30 pm
Leeds United host Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday night.

The Whites host the Eagles on Monday night at Elland Road in Premier League action.

Bielsa will speak to reporters over Friday lunchtime to give an update over the fitness of his squad and discuss all the latest ongoings from LS11.

United enter the weekend in 11th place after a 2-1 defeat to Everton in midweek in West Yorkshire.

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Palace, meanwhile, are 13th in the standings and sit on the same 29 points as their hosts ahead of kick-off.

Roy Hodgson saw his side claim victory over Newcastle United at St James' Park and will be looking to do the double over Leeds.

United fell to a disappointing 4-1 defeat at Selhurst Park earlier in the campaign amid a game filled with controversy.

We'll have the key points from what head coach Bielsa has to say below at the conclusion of his pre-match press conference...

What is the latest on the fitness front - Rodrigo and Ian Poveda in particular?

It all depends on the evolution of their injuries. It is not a question of days, more of weeks.

In the game against Leicester, Rodrigo fell and his legs separated more than usual which caused the injury.

I saw a picture of a position in which both his feet ended up and the distance between them was different to what we would expect.

Poveda has an injury to his ankle.

Gaetano Berardi? How close is he?

He's going to be returning to training on Monday. As he regains fitness he'll return to the Under-23s.

Does the new pitch give you more of an advantage?

I think playing at home or away is not having the same effect that it had prior with fans. It doesn't increase your chances playing at home or playing away when we have fans.

The pitch was a big improvement from the last game against Brighton.

What respect do you have for Roy Hodgson?

The career of Roy Hodgson only deserves praise and recognition. To have the desire to extend his career so long is something to admire. Not only to do it but to do it well.

Most people say Leeds are entertaining - what do you think?

Like you said, almost everyone. There's those who find it entertaining to face a side who concede as many as we do.

Our team like all the other teams, we choose to play in a certain style because we think it is what is going to bring us close to winning.

After there are a lot of aspects in football you can't predict and the most important factor of all is the capacity to unbalance each player in their positions.

If you take into account the form and the style. It brings you closer to the aspects that are most beautiful about the game. The efficiency is what we are looking for.

Did you learn anything from the reverse fixture?

I'm trying to find an answer that is worth it. If you saw the number 11 and 25 they played very well. The left full-back is very good at attacking.

They have two players for every position in attack.

They're all things that are not going to be newsworthy for you or the public.

When you analyse an opponent these are the things you take into account.

Would you be happy with a mid table finish?

The most important thing is how we play which will decide where we finish in the table.

If you finish 8th by not playing well, it is worse than finishing 12th by playing well. It is true that playing well means you can finish higher in the table.

I hope we can play well and finish high up the table.

Pablo Hernandez - can he be a force in the Premier League for you?

I always act in the way I am about to tell you. I have said it many times. I have no difficulty in explaining it once more.

If I didn't think that Pablo didn't have the same possibilities as his teammates in his position I wouldn't have wanted him to be part of the group.

Especially because we are a group of few players. I wouldn't have picked a player as part of the squad if he didn't offer solutions.

After the season goes by game by game I take decisions. I have no certainty the decisions I take are the best ones. But I closely evaluate the situation.