Marcelo Bielsa press conference - key points: Leeds United boss on injury latest, Brighton and his future

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa met the media earlier today ahead of his side's trip to face Brighton in the Premier League.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 3:27 pm

The Whites will kick-off May with a clash at the Amex stadium against the Seagulls having enjoyed an unbeaten April.

Leeds will start May looking to maintain a run which saw them go unbeaten throughout April in the top flight.

Marcelo Bielsa masterminded wins over Sheffield United and Manchester City before draws against Liverpool and Manchester United followed.

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Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Getty

United sit ninth ahead of the next round of fixtures and - unlike their hosts - have already confirmed Premier League football next season.

Brighton are 17th in the standings but have a seven point buffer between themselves and Fulham in the relegation places.

With five games to go the Seagulls will be looking to pick up points to ensure they are plying their trade in English football's top division next term.

Here are some of the key points Marcelo Bielsa had to say during his pre-match media duties...

What is the latest team news?

Bielsa: Raphinha - no. Rodrigo - yes. It's difficult to know when he [Raphinha] will be back. It's a problem in the hip, until the hematoma disappears it causes pain. It can be resolved quickly or it can take a long time. When he is no longer in pain he will return. The impression we have is that he is in the final stages.

Is Rodrigo fit enough to start?

Bielsa: He's healthy. It doesn't mean he is fit to play - we will see how many minutes he can play.

Are you surprised to see Brighton fighting relegation? They won at Elland Road earlier in the season?

Bielsa: The results can sometimes coincide with the performances and other times they don't. Brighton is a team that is unfairly in the bottom part of the table.

All the parameters you can consider to evaluate the team - how they attack and defend, where they spend more time on the pitch, possession, losses of the ball, their offensive intensity, all the values you can analyse has them in a higher place than they occupy.

Can finishing the season strongly give you a platform for next season?

Bielsa: To predict results is impossible. We're never going to do anything other than give 100 percent for the next game. In every game there are arguments that need to be taken into consideration. With regards to this weekend's game, the reality is what we have faced all season.

Kalvin Phillips - do you want to explore his versatility?

Bielsa: It's an option but it will take more time to verify. For Kalvin it is easy to play as a defensive midfielder or as a centre-back. But to play as a mixed midfielder - to play in front - is a position which he has already played and has done this for the England national team. For us it is an option but he's less verified for us because we have Dallas and Klich who are positioned in front of him. He can be an option.

What do you need to do better against Brighton this time?

Bielsa: What happened so many months ago is not comparable - nor for better or worse. They are not the same team and we are not. The games are not particularly alike just because the two teams are the same.

To find modifications that facilitate to obtain a better result - we don't think about a game that happened such a long time ago. [We know] in ourselves we need to improve and conserve and in the analysis of the team in more recent games.

Do you share Andrea Radrizzani's optimism that you'll sign a new deal?

Bielsa: Any reference to this subject I prefer to make it after the competition is finished. I appreciate the words of the owner and president with regards to my possible continuity. I also agree with what he said in that Leeds is above any others. Due to the solidness of the organisation they have the facility to make correct decisions.