Marcelo Bielsa opens up on full ambitions of Leeds United's Premier League return

SIMPLY staying in the Premier League this season was not the goal for Leeds United insists Marcelo Bielsa.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 4:03 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd May 2021, 4:04 pm

In terms of the vision of the club's owner Andrea Radrizzani, retaining top flight status was key to allow them time to not only build a club and a team that can eventually challenge for a European place, but to redevelop Elland Road.

When it came to expectations this season, no one around the club spoke of anything other than avoiding relegation, an achievement which was secured comfortably.

With four games remaining in the season Leeds are mathematically safe by a distance and eyeing a top-half finish, although European qualification is now highly improbable.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

STRIVING FOR MORE: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

Before the trip to the Amex Stadium, Bielsa spoke of how vital pressure was to his side, because they perform best in pressurised situations and because the season is yet to be defined.

In his eyes, there are obligations beyond just finishing above the drop zone.

"Not to be relegated wasn't our target," said Bielsa after Saturday's disappointing 2-0 defeat at Brighton.

"It was one of the possibilities we had to vanish. After that, every game is an obligation to compete at the maximum level."

The performance against Brighton was lacking, in a way that does not reflect how Leeds have played in their first season back in the top flight for 16 years.

They have become known as the entertainers thanks to the attacking football they play and the number of games that have seen goals fly in at both ends.

Although they shored up their defence, in particular against three top sides in Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, they did not attack well in those games in Bielsa's estimation.

Against Brighton they neither defended nor attacked well and were unable to provide much in the way of thrills for those watching on television.

Bielsa feels the responsibility is there for his and every team to give spectators something attractive to watch.

"Every time any professional football team plays they have a commitment to entertain their fans and any spectator who is watching," he said.

A message from the Editor:

Leeds has a fantastic story to tell - and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been rooted firmly at the heart of telling the stories of our city since 1890.

We believe in ourselves and hope you believe in us too. We need your support to help ensure we can continue to be at the heart of life in Leeds.

Subscribe to our website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app.

With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Click here to subscribe.

For more details on our newspaper subscription offers click here.

Thank you Laura Collins