Leeds United v Newcastle United: Marcelo Bielsa press conference

MIDWEEK BATTLE: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa and Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.MIDWEEK BATTLE: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa and Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.
MIDWEEK BATTLE: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa and Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.
WHITES head coach Marcelo Bielsa is holding his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday night's hosting of Newcastle United today - and we will bring you all the latest here.

Leeds will be looking to bounce back from Friday night's 2-1 loss at home to West Ham United whereas Steve Bruce's Magpies are heading to Elland Road on the back of Saturday's 2-1 triumph at home to West Brom which came in spite of big Magpies troubles with coronavirus.

All the latest news from Bielsa will follow here after the conclusion of the press conference which is scheduled to start at 1pm.

On Houllier passing away

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"It's some very hurtful news. He is a man who left his mark on football and every time that someone who has contributed so much to football leaves us it is always a feeling of sadness."

On how difficult staying in the Premier League and could you be dragged into a relegation battle?

"It is very difficult to talk about the future and to predict it . The reality that we are going through at this moment to have only picked up 4 points from the last 18 is a negative cycle that of course generates consequences. But this negative cycle that we are going through is similar to half of the other teams in the Premier League who have gone through a similar cycle. Wer now that every time we play the difficulties are very high and we try to work through that so that we can pick up as many points as possible, Anyhow, for the question that you are asking me, I try to say something that has some significance or sense but in football any circumstance is possible and every week we will fight to improve our position in the table regardless of where it is."

How difficult is it to work on set pieces when so many games?

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"We have conceded four goals from set pieces and the circumstances that highlights this problem is that it happened in two consecutive games and it happened against no 21 from West Ham Ogbonna, no 15 from Chelsea, Zouma, and also with the no 4 from Liverpool which is Van Dijk. And the fourth one was against by 28 of West Ham who had a significant height advantage over the player. The duels that we have lost that have generated the goals, the responsibility is taken up by the best headers we have in the team. It is natural that our best headerers come up against the best headerers in the Premier League. It is normal that they can lose these duels. And if we compare our efficiency with our set pieces in an attacking sense to a defensive sense the data is very similar. We have managed to score a similar amount of goals to the ones we have suffered as a result of this problem. Afterwards there is another point that is important, we usually have two very good headerers of the ball which are usually our two centre backs but of those four players mentioned and i the games where we haven't had Koch and Lorente, other players like Ayling and Phillips have had to assume the responsibility even though the aerial game is not their biggest strength. There are a lot of questions that I answer without a lot of conviction. When they ask me how do you resolve the problems in defensive set pieces, it is a lot more linked to the things that I have just mentioned then the training that can be done."

On naming the team

"Nothing about it was incorrect. It would be incorrect if we thought that knowing the XI of the opponent gives you an important advantage. For me, it doesn't give you an important advantage. So from now on to avoid any backlash I will not continue to give answers on the players who can or cannot play on a weekend. Imagine that the manager of West Ham says that I anticipate the team due to vanity. For me to name the team ahead of time is something I shouldn't do. Anyhow, the formation and XI that I gave you last week without knowingly given it because they asked me of a certain position in particular and I spontaneously gave the XI with the player playing in that position.``

Is Bamford injured?


113 games in charge - do you have to be more hands on again now?

"In the moments of adversity any support that anyone within the group has to make has to be something that generates a positive response. The demonstration of affection is very difficult to administer in football. The function of a coach or a manager is to take decisions that favour the team which in turn could be unfavourable for some people in the team but there are many ways to show support and closeness that are not linked to affection, helping, talking sincerely, there is describing with honesty the good things that we have done and the bad things that we have done so it is part of my job to manage all of this."

Has the team grown to overcome adversity?

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"There are different types of adversities. The Premier League is of a certain level and we have to show that we can play at that level. If you take different moments from the 12 games we have played so far you will find expressions that are very good and some that are not so good. In the Championship we had the respect of a large percentage of opponents and a superiority that was already clear and what we had to do was impose it. Our challenge in every game in the Premier League is to demonstrate that we can compete in equal conditions and that's where we are at in the task and throughout these 12 games we have been superior to some big rivals and there has been times where inferior opponents have been superior to us. I understand that the job of the media and a journalist is to predict the future, what is going to happen, to talk about what has happened and how this will affect the future but for me it is very difficult to help out in this way. And that's why I say that in every game our challenge is to be superior to every opponent we play so we can impose ourselves,"

Did you know Houllier?

"No I never met him and we never faced each other as managers."

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