Marcelo Bielsa denied that the absence of Kemar Roofe or Pablo Hernandez had directly affected Leeds United’s results as he confirmed that both players would return from injury after the next international break.
Bielsa played down the impact of Roofe and Hernandez missing the whole of Leeds’ September schedule despite their lack of fitness removing two key players from his plans.
Roofe, who is nursing a calf problem, had a hand in six goals in August while Hernandez - out with a hamstring strain - scored three and created two during a spell which fired United to the top of the Championship.
The club’s momentum has stalled slightly with one win from five matches and Bielsa was frustrated to see his side pass up countless chances in a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.
Bielsa has also lost £7m striker Patrick Bamford to a serious knee problem but speaking ahead of tonight’s game at Hull City, United’s head coach said: “I don’t think that when we miss a goal, someone on the bench or who is not available could have scored that goal.
“Of course I miss the presence of Bamford, Roofe and Pablo. I regret that the injuries happened at the same time. When they were inside the team we had more points with them than without them.
WATCH: Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa meets the media ahead of Hull City clash
“But even if I take into this account it’s very hard for me to say that we didn’t get as many points because they were not here.”
Bielsa also questioned whether any of his missing players would have made the difference in Friday’s derby at Hillsborough.
“It’s hard to give a response because that would mean I would be saying Roofe, Pablo and Bamford never miss a goal,” he said. “It’s very hard to say something like that. I would also have to say that Roofe, Pablo and Bamford would have created the chances to score but you can’t predict the offensive play.
“I’m aware of the capacity of those players but with Tyler Roberts and (Jack) Harrison we have solutions. What I can tell you is that 70 per cent of substitutions you make during the games are linked to offensive players. Last season in the last Premier League, 70 per cent were linked to the wingers, the number nine and the number 10.
“This tells you that creative players and strikers are responsible for the most difficult task during the game. I would like to have all my offensive players at my disposal because this allows you to rotate and it gives several solutions to one position.”
Roofe and Hernandez will miss United’s games against Hull and Brentford this week but are due to return against Blackburn Rovers on October 20. Gaetano Berardi, whose knee problem has ruled him out for several weeks, should also be back for the trip to Ewood Park along with young defender Conor Shaughnessy.
“I think that they will be available for the game after the international break,” Bielsa said.