Leeds United v Sheffield United: Marcelo Bielsa press conference on team news, Paul Heckingbottom praise and season's aim

ALL the latest as Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa faces the media ahead of Saturday afternoon's Premier League clash against Sheffield United at Elland Road.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 3:41 pm
PRESENT AND PAST: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, left, and Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom, right. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.

Leeds are approaching the first game back after the March international break sat 11th in the table whereas Paul Heckingbottom's Blades are bottom and 14 points from safety.

Bielsa will be speaking to the press at 12 noon and all the latest news will follow here after the press conference's conclusion.

Injuries situation and Klich

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"The situation with Klich is in the process of being solved. There is a protocol that needs to be completed and we will see what the consequences are and the rest of the players haven't arrived back from international duty and it's not convenient to anticipate whether they are okay or not fitness wise without having evaluated them."

On Phillips

"He originally was a box to box or intermediate midfielder and he has the habit of having played in this position for many years and the resources which helped to improve a player of being able to play in different positions. In respect to his physical condition it is all linked to the big effort that he puts into this matter."

On Roberts

"Any player that doesn't adhere to the rules having already accepted them commits an error and errors always have consequences, some of them are positive, to not repeat the same mistakes again and others have worse consequences as they sanction you for your mistakes. Tyler is a player who is close to abandoning the lack of experience for the player which is a way of understanding some of the behavioural mistakes he has made and surely this will help him to make mistakes which are not convenient."

On Rodrigo - might we only see best of him next season?

"No immediately he will be able to show all the resources that he has."

Tyler - is that the end of matter and is he available this weekend?

"When a situation like what happened to Tyler it will be solved when he doesn't commit this error again and he already received the sanction from his national team which is an important one. I don't know what the position of the technical staff of the national team is or the federation who are the people who resolve that matter."

Klich - will he be available this weekend?

"The protocol has not been finalised so we don't know yet, the evaluations have not been completed so we don't know yet."

On Cooper - is he over his illness

"Yes."

On Heckingbottom's team at Leeds

"The people who remain at the club and who worked under him, they have a very good concept of the work that he did here. I have only heard good or praise during the time he has here. And after the time it takes for players to mature and to get the best of their abilities, they happen in different moments. What I value a lot is the great portion of the players were here when he was around."

Sheff U under Heckingbotom so far

"They were two different games. Two games is not enough to observe major changes. It is very difficult that a coach can generate big changes in such a short space of time but clearly the game against Chelsea was a game of a very good level."

Hopes for rest of the season from your team

"There is still a lot to play for, there is still a lot to show, every game at this level is a test and the objectives are always linked to imposing yourself in the next game, be whatever the position on the table. There is no position in the table that exempts you from exerting a less effort."

how proud of Phillips

"To be able to hold on to a starting position in a team as strong as the England one is an important achievement and in a sector where it is very difficult to shine so he deserves to be very proud of what he has been achieving."

Rodrigo and Pablo - any fresh issues?

"No the group is healthy and both of these players are healthy too but there is always a difference between the ideal fitness and the time that you have"

On the centre-backs - does hierarchy and experience come into it now?

"The type of game no because the demands are always similar no matter who the opponent is. The resources of the 4 centre backs have been growing and throughout the season and any of them can take up a starting position without any inconvenience. And apart from Koch, Pascal and Llorente can play in the defensive midfield position also."

How used the break

"There was time dedicated to rest, resting is also a very important part of the training and when we train the idea is always to incorporate more resources and polish the errors."

On Rodrigo

"He arrived in his best version. He was at his best level prior to injuring himself against Leicester, the level he was at during that period was a very good one. And what he was giving to the team with the way he can unbalance a team was all very positive. For me Rodrigo has already shown how important he can be to Leeds and he has also justified with the conditions and the abilities that he has his transfer fee and we hope to have him healthy for a considerable amount of time and if this happens then he will be able to show his abilities and his conditions very quickly. For me it will be very difficult to obtain a player with his qualities in the scenario of football at the moment but what happens is when a player goes a period without playing it is difficult to absorb."