Marcelo Bielsa mindful of Leeds United's former glories as Whites eye slice of club history
MARCELO Bielsa has paid homage to the great Leeds United sides of yesteryear as his modern day Whites target a historic fourth Premier League win in a row.
Even if they achieve it, Bielsa says his own side would need to take "extraordinary" steps to reach the dizzy heights scaled by the likes of Don Revie, Howard Wilkinson and more recently David O'Leary's Champions League team.
Bielsa's newly-promoted Whites have already made modern-day Leeds United history by winning three Premier League games on the spin for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign.
Back then, a Whites side under Terry Venables followed a 2-1 victory at Sunderland with two consecutive 2-0 victories at home to Chelsea and Birmingham City over January and December.
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Venables also won his first two games in charge of that season via a 3-0 win at home to Manchester City and 3-1 triumph at West Brom, victories that followed a 1-0 win at Derby County and 1-0 success at home to Middlesbrough in the last two games of the previous campaign in David O'Leary's last two games in charge.
But O'Leary was the last Whites boss to mastermind four straight Premier League wins in the same season, a feat achieved back in the Spring of 2001 when Leeds were on their way to the Champions League semi-finals.
Either side of a 3-0 win at home to Deportivo La Coruna in Europe, O'Leary's side followed up a 2-1 victory at Charlton Athletic and 2-0 triumph at Sunderland with a 2-0 success at home to Southampton and 2-1 triumph at Liverpool.
Ironically, Liverpool will now provide United's next opponents on Monday evening at Elland Road as Leeds eye a fourth-straight Premier League win for the first time in 20 years.
Bielsa admits such a feat would clearly bring his side joy but United's head coach is keen to highlight his modern day team's place in the pecking order given the former achievements of the club's greats.
Don Revie's Whites won two First Division titles, two Inter-Cities Fairs Cups, an FA Cup, League Cup and Charity Shield between 1964 and 1974 and then finished runners-up in the European Cup whilst Wilkinson's side were crowned champions of England in 1992 before winning the following season's Charity Shield.
Under first George Graham and then O'Leary, Leeds then regularly competed in Europe at the turn of the Millennium.
O'Leary's side also won seven-straight Premier League games in second half of the 1998-99 campaign - a Premier League club record - whilst Revie's Whites twice won seven top-flight games in a row in the same season.
Revie's all conquering stars also won eight league games in a row when combining the end of the 1972-73 season and the start of the 1973-74 campaign.
"I have always said the dimension of the institution at Leeds is very big," said Bielsa, asked what it would mean to play such a big part in this particular part of potential history.
"The sporting past of Leeds is full of very high points.
"To win four games in a row in the Premier League compared to all the things that Leeds has achieved, of course, it will give us great happiness to win four games in a row.
"But if you compare it to all of the things Leeds have achieved in their sporting history, it's not so big.
"To be able to be at the height of the past success of Leeds some extraordinary things need to be done and we are quite far away from being there."
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Thank you Laura Collins