Marcelo Bielsa dedicated a 2-1 win over Swansea City to Jack Clarke and said the narrow margin of victory had done his team a disservice after Leeds Unitied returned to the top of the Championship.
Bielsa paid tribute to Clarke and said he “deserves this win” as the winger continued his recovery from the illness which saw him rushed to hospital during a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The 18-year-old is recuperating at home and is yet to be given a date for his return to training having been told to rest this week.
Bielsa said he would put no pressure on Clarke to rush back and aid a promotion bid which was strengthened further by Norwich City losing 3-1 at Preston North End.
Leeds moved a point clear of Norwich after a convincing performance against Swansea, who were outplayed at Elland Road but briefly threatened to ruin the night by reducing a 2-0 deficit with an 86th-minute penalty.
“We would like to dedicate this win to Jack Clarke because we all feel he deserves this win,” said a happy Bielsa. “We hope he’ll recover well and we’ll let him take all the time he needs.
“We deserved to win and it's hard to understand how we only won by one goal difference because we dominated the game, we had many chances to score and we had many actions which could have become chances to score.”
Leeds are 14 matches from the end of the term and despite having no game this weekend due to Queens Park Rangers’ involvement in the FA Cup, the club can drop no lower than third on goal difference if both Norwich and Sheffield United record victories on Saturday.
Bielsa said: “The goal is always to have as many points as possible and if that allows us to be first, it’s even better.
“Every time teams in the Championship play you have reasons to feel optimistic and reasons to feel sad. In the last 14 games we have to be as regular as possible and as consistent as possible.”
Leeds scored through Pontus Jansson and Jack Harrison to establish a 2-0 lead at half-time and a penalty from Oli McBurnie came too late to earn Swansea anything.
Swansea manager Graham Potter talked up United’s promotion prospects, saying: “They’ve got as good a chance as anybody from what I’ve seen. They deserved to win the game.”