Marcelo Bielsa explains why Leeds United stars will continue to be put through Under-23s paces

The Leeds head coach made a number of senior players available for the Whites development ranks.
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. (PA)Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. (PA)
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. (PA)

Marcelo Bielsa says he will continue to utilise Leeds United's development games for his first team stars with new coach Mark Jackson impressing him.

During the Argentine's reign in the Elland Road hot seat to date, the 65-year-old has opted to make the most of the Whites Under-23s fixtures.

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Bielsa has essentially combined the two squads at Thorp Arch in a bid to help keep his senior players fit during the week and develop the club's young talent in a competitive environment.

He has also used game action at academy level to work those back from injury who require much-needed match minutes or keep players sharp who lack first team opportunities.

The United boss saw trusted lieutenant Carlos Corberan depart for the head coach role at West Yorkshire neighbours and Championship side Huddersfield Town this summer with the Spaniard leaving a hugely important spot among the tight-knit backroom staff.

Upon Bielsa's arrival Corberan was tasked with managing the transition of players between the senior and development ranks whilst also overseeing the implementation of the club's first team playing style.

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New Under-23s boss Jackson has now been handed with filling the vacancy left after making the step up from managing the Under-18s.

"Whilst there are players that need minutes from the first team, we will continue to work with the Under-23s," Bielsa said over plans of how he intends to keep his squad fit and ready this season.

"From the short time we have been working together I have seen he’s [Mark Jackson] a very capable man. He’s a man who is very highly valued by Adam [Underwood], who is the person in charge of the academy."

Bielsa stuck to his word at the weekend as he made Pablo Hernandez, Ian Poveda, Tyler Roberts, Kiko Casilla, Pascal Struijk and deadline day signing Raphinha available for a Premier League 2 clash with Norwich City at the club's training ground.

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United opted to workout some of their more established players with an extended break ahead of next Monday's top flight showdown with Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City in LS11.

Leeds ran out victors over the Canaries as they downed their top-of-the-table counterparts, with Poveda and Raphinha both getting on the scoresheet amid important minutes for Bielsa's current bench options.