Marcelo Bielsa explains lack of defensive change in Nottingham Forest defeat

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has explained his decision not to make a defensive change during the 4-2 New Year's Day defeat to Nottingham Forest.

The Whites saw Kalvin Phillips receive a straight red card on the stroke of half-time after a heavy touch saw him lunge into a challenge with Adlene Guedioura.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa at the City Ground.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa at the City Ground.

Referee Darren England deemed the tackle dangerous and handed Phillips his marching orders in the 42nd minute.

United fought back after falling behind after just six minutes following a mistake from Adam Forshaw which allowed Jack Colback to open the scoring at the City Ground.

Despite being down to ten men Leeds turned the game on its head after the break as substitute Jack Clarke and Gjanni Alioski both bagged to send the travelling fans wild as they dared to dream about a third improbable Christmas comeback.

Forest though provided a fightback of their own as they bagged three goals in seven minutes with Colback, Daryl Murphy and Ben Osborn all getting on the scoresheet to seal the points for Aitor Karanka's side.

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United were left open having opted for three at the back following the earlier dismissal and conceded twice from two set-plays as a flurry of Reds goals handed Leeds back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.

Bielsa admitted afterwards that he had thought about the possibility of changing United's approach throughout the game but instead decided to stick to his attacking guns after seeing his side come out fighting during a frantic second half.

"The change in defence I had in my mind the whole game," Bielsa admitted afterwards.

"It was to put Jamie Shackleton as a full-back and Ayling as a centre-back, Adam (Forshaw) in the middle, but we had to make a sacrifice of one of the two wingers, one of the two offensive midfielders or our number nine.

"We couldn’t make a change with Clarke and Alioski, Roofe either, and Pablo and Klich either. The team was playing well. On the contrary, we could have changed the score from a position to where we were losing the game to a position where we were winning the game.

Marcelo Bielsa defends Adam Forshaw and Kalvin Phillips after Leeds United's City Ground slip

"So when I had the possibility to take a decision, I couldn’t take out the two playmakers we had, and I couldn’t take out our two wingers who were creating danger and I couldn’t take the number nine either.

"If I had taken this decision I would have thought at that moment, I would have thought I was destroying something working well. That’s why I didn’t take the decision. We also had others like Halme and Leif Davis.

"We also have to take into account one fact, I could have made the change and I would have, from a defensive point of view, would have avoided the reaction of the opponent.

"I’m just explaining why I didn’t make this decision, it doesn’t mean that I took the right decision."