Leeds United v Wolves - Marcelo Bielsa press conference, every word, team news and 12-minute answer on difficult week for Whites

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa is facing the media today ahead of Saturday's Premier League hosting of Wolves - and we will bring you all the very latest news here.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 4:01 pm
FIRST MEETING: Between Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, left, and Wolves boss Bruno Lage, right. Graphic by Graeme Bandeira.

Bruno Lage's side will visit Elland Road for a 3pm kick-off as the Whites look to bounce back from last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Southampton which left Leeds fourth-bottom and three points clear of the drop zone.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

United were without six players for the clash at St Mary's, Kalvin Phillips, Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling, Robin Koch and Junior Firpo all injured and Raphinha not risked having only played for Brazil in the early hours of Friday morning.

Wolves will arrive at Elland Road having won their last three games, a run which has taken the Molineux outfit up to tenth place.

Bielsa will be speaking to the media at 1pm and you can follow everything that is said here.

Leeds United v Wolves - Marcelo Bielsa press conference LIVE

Last updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2021, 15:51

  • Marcelo Bielsa facing the media at 1pm
  • Leeds face Wolves in Saturday 3pm kick-off at Elland Road
  • Whites fourth-bottom, Wolves tenth after three wins on the spin

A Bielsa epic answer - has this been one of the most difficult weeks for you in your time here?

Yes, one of the most difficult, perhaps there have been five or six but this one of the most difficult. The complexity of a week prior to a game is evaluated depending on how far away we were in the last game to play to our capabilities and how far away we were from it. In the game like the one in Southampton, the distance between what we were looking for and what we achieved was very far and that was deserved so obviously for me it was a very sad week. But in a parallel way, when errors are made, and I know the errors that we made and I know those errors could have been avoided if I had managed it more efficiently, to have a lot of energy, a lot of strength, a lot of willingness, to avoid for what happened in the last game to happen again and to come back from the situation. The process in the lowering of production is common to many activities. The first thing you can do is to know why and what the thing that you didn’t want to happen, happened. If you discover or focus on the errors it is the first step to correcting them and if you don’t individualise or recognise those errors it is very difficult in any approach. After you take on board these errors to see if you have the resources and the capacities to not commit them again and to put it to the test during the week, the fortitude to avoid repeating. But with this subject, the first step you need to take when you play badly is to avoid playing worse. When you play badly there are always consequences within the game that are produced because you are playing badly so the first thing that a team does when they are in a negative moment is to avoid that the mistakes that you made make you play worse and the second thing that is very important is that every players feels that any error that he makes and that produces negative consequences for the play of the team knows that he is not going to singled out or made responsible for that error but that the group is going to find a solution for that error that was made so you avoid that playing badly makes you play worse and that is the first step to come back to the equilibrium that a team like Leeds has so I take advantage so that you can see that there is no formula but a convincing. The function of a coach is that what he proposes is carried out, as a result the authority, the management is essential but after you can impose these orders or you can convince so I think that any order within a team will last if it does by convincing. The other resource that is very important to be a coach, a manager, is to discard defeat as an option. That is absurd because in football you lose or you win or you draw but if you transmit that defeat is very painful it increases the fortitude to avoid it so for me the defeat is very difficult to tolerate and I try that the players feel in a similar way and I have the hope that that gives us the fortitude and the energy to avoid it. But I want you to remember this that to me has a lot of value. I have just told you how I manage and how I deal with a bad batch of form but look at how there are resources which are totally opposite but also efficient. I had to manage at a club Americas in Mexico and I managed them after an extraordinary coach Leo Beenhakker, a Dutch coach, and to tell you the dimension of what he achieved, with frequency his team would win 8-0, 7-0, 9-0. so I came after him and always when I am at a club where the previous manager was a great manager, I always ask questions about how it was and what makes a manager big is how they manage the bad moments, not how they get to the good moments. The great moments, the players are usually exclusively responsible for them but the bad moments demands some management so I would ask what would Leo do after a bad defeat? Immediately after the game he would tell everybody, the players, the technical staff, everyone that surrounds the team, he would say this game was very bad and from tomorrow onwards we don’t talk about this game again. It is a process that you can use to administer adversity, through forgetting, but my idea is the opposite, that you have to look over the errors so you don’t make them again. I don’t think I am in the right, nor that Beenhakker is, admitting that you should bear in mind more what he says than what I say. What is very clear is that I cannot do what Beenhakker proposes because I feel it in a different way. It’s not that I think, it’s that I feel. If it’s to do with the thinking, my way of thinking and his way of thinking are both valid but what you think when you have to transmit, it becomes a feeling and no one that transmits or convinces can make up what they feel.”

What can you say about the ability of this squad in trying to take on board what you are trying to transmit?

It doesn’t matter too much what I think but what you guys have been able to observe. I don’t tell them to play well, bad or regular, but for 50 games now, the team that makes the most effort in the best league in the world, their commitment, their physical effort, is linked to the willingness so it’s one of the few things you can demand and apart from that the origin comes from the minds. The limits of the efforts are not positioned to the muscular energy but in the mental capacity to activate. It’s not indispensable the accumulated energy but in the high competition everyone has accumulated enough energy. What really allows you to overcome the limits is the mental strength to put at play what you possess. I know a manager’s maximum expression, if they are not convinced of what they are doing and I always say it that it hasn’t got to do with any virtue that I have but due to the essence of the British player. The British player from my point of experience has the capacity to activate his resources that is very very high. The Basque football which is the football that I learned at Athletic Bilbao, in that sense is very similar and Basque football is a very similar to English football. Of course, what I am saying is what has happened from here on backwards.

That’s it from Marcelo...

Full transcribe to follow shortly

On Southampton outrunning you

It is one of the things that I observed with worry.

On Raphinha’s progress with Brazil

“It is a logical process. It is inevitable that with the steps that Raphinha has been taken, that it would take him to where he is now.”

What did you see in the body language of the players on Monday in return to training?

After a defeat, depending on the dimension of the defeat, there is a process of a duel, of hurt, of pain, and the immediate search for revenge, to come back. I also sometimes think of those who are listening to us, there are expressions like the ones we have said in this talk, there are a lot of fans who are connected with Leeds, they may find it acceptable what we are saying. In some way we feel the same as they do, but in another way I imagine that so many people that live in the real world, to talk about a defeat for example in the way that I am talking about it, it can be thought of as a scale of values that is very big. There are people who ask you for a ticket to watch Leeds United because they have a few days to live, and imagine if you compare that loss to what we have been describing, the disproportion in the evaluation.”

What feeling have you been trying to transmit to the players this week?

“It's what I have explaining in these last 45 minutes, commitment and not indifference, responsibility and not passing over your responsibilities, hope and faith before disappointment. I would have to repeat everything that I have said up until now and I can’t summarise my words in three lines. That is why I resist speaking in English because it is difficult for me to say what I think in Spanish and I would say a lot less if I had to express myself in English.”

There is a phrase that I read not too long ago that says that teams are made out of crystal, that is difficult to make them solid, that they break from one day to another. So we played our best game of the season against Watford and the worst against Southampton. More than whether the opponents were better or worse, teams change frequently. So what is it that allows after a loss of form for a team to recover quickly, the amount of work that is accumulated and the fortitude of spirit spiritually from the group to accept the difficulties. There are groups that in difficulties they move away, they don’t want to belong to something that is not in an attractive moment and there are other groups that come together to the place where they belong to and they make the maximum efforts to modify the realities that affect their people, their club and their fans and the challenge for a coach in the adversity is to try and find this type of feeling.

Is it fair to assume now that the job is all consuming and how important to make time for other things?

There are people that need to do other things to have clarity and others that iron the adversity. I don’t have the capacity to do anything that generates pleasure and I dedicate myself in a balanced way to look over what I do. But I insist because for me sadness and pleasure don’t work in common but that is just something to do with the way that I am and it’s impossible for me to ask a player to be the same way because you play throughout 15 years one time a week. Imagine a human being that carries out his job once or twice a week for 15 years can add to that to forget about his pleasure when he is defeated.”

Page 1 of 2