Michael O'Neill reflects on Marcelo Bielsa's work at Elland Road and gap between Leeds United and Stoke City

STOKE CITY boss Michael O'Neill has saluted the "amazing" work of Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa and the fruition of two years' work at Elland Road.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 11:50 am

Potters boss O'Neill saw his relegation-battling team swept aside 5-0 by Bielsa's rampant Whites in Thursday evening's Championship clash at Elland Road.

Stoke looked to be heading into the interval with the scoreline goalless but Tommy Smith then fouled Helder Costa to give United a penalty which Mateusz Klich coolly rolled home to give the Whites a 1-0 lead at the break.

The fourth-bottom Potters were then blown away in the second-half as Leeds ran riot with goals from Costa, Liam Cooper, Pablo Hernandez and Patrick Bamford.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: From Stoke City boss Michael O'Neill for Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa's work at Elland Road. Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images.

The victory sent Leeds back to the top of the table with United now needing a maximum of seven points from their final four games to seal promotion to the Premier League in Bielsa's second season in charge - even if second-placed West Brom and third-placed Brentford win all of their remaining games.

"He's done an amazing job here," Potters boss O'Neill told the YEP, asked about Bielsa's work at Elland Road.

"There's two years of work here and you can see that in the team.

"Obviously there's a group of players that have been brought to the club or who were at the club that are hungry to do well and that's the key, you need that.

"We are a long, long way from where Leeds United are at this minute in time and that's going to take time to change that."