Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has revealed that the Whites have been working on their “offensive play” during the international break in attempt to “receive the ball behind the opponent.”
United entered the two-week rest period for club football as the second highest goalscorers in the Championship having found the back of the net 22 times in 12 games. The Whites sit third in the division just two points behind table toppers Sheffield United and a point from second-placed West Brom, who are leading the way in the goals scored department having notched 31 times already this campaign.
Bielsa, who has openly stated he wants his side to be more ruthless in front of goal, has deployed the 4-1-4-1 and 3-3-1-3 formation on several occasions during recent fixtures in an attempt to break teams down.
The Argentine remains steadfast in his belief that any top side needs three “offensive actions” to score a single goal, which he discussed in depth following United’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday last month where the Whites fired a whopping 25 shots on goal.
“Normally we need three chances to score a goal,” Bielsa said of the Hillsborough result. “It’s a statistic common to teams who lead their championship. But in the previous game against Birmingham we needed eight chances to score. Tonight we needed 25 chances.
“When we evaluate a performance we take into consideration the chances we create. Then we see if the team is efficient.”
Before the international break United were again frustrated at the hands of Brentford at Elland Road, a game where Bielsa’s men created 13 chances to shoot but found the back of the net just once, and although the Bees created plenty of opportunities themselves, Bielsa was left frustrated at his side’s inability to convert in front of goal.
Speaking ahead of the trip to Ewood Park this weekend, the Leeds boss revealed that following a period in which Leeds have failed to make their opponents pay it’s been a key area of focus at Thorp Arch during the interval and Blackburn Rovers are first up in the firing line.
“We dedicated a lot of time to the offensive play and inside the offensive play we work a lot on the movements to free ourselves,” the 63-year-old revealed. “When we do these movements we try to work the possibilities to receive the ball behind the opponent.”
Bielsa also conceded that some members of his squad took some time out to recharge their batteries in preparation to attack the continuing gruelling campaign following the break: “We had a group of players who needed to get some rest. Another group needed the opposite thing, which is pace and tempo. The third group were the international players and now we need them back with us.”