No tension, pressure or stress says Marcelo Bielsa, just passion to explain beliefs to Leeds United's fans

MARCELO BIELSA insists he is feeling neither pressured nor stressed by Leeds United's promotion quest but determined to be thorough in communicating his beliefs with his club's fans.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 8th February 2020, 6:16 am
UPS AND DOWNS: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa looks on as winger Helder Costa is felled during last weekend's 1-0 defeat at home to Millwall. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Bielsa's side are heading for this evening's clash at fourth-placed Nottingham Forest having seen what was an 11-point cushion in the Championship's automatic promotion spots slashed to a three-point gap over third-placed Fulham.

Tonight's hosts Forest are only four points behind the second-placed Whites whose odds of finishing in the division's top two have been chopped from 1-16 to 2-5.

A continued theme of squandering opportunities in front of goal has been costing the Whites dear and head coach Bielsa provided a 20-minute answer quizzed as to the fitness of new striker signing Jean-Kevin Augustin at his Thursday afternoon press conference.

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Augustin, said Bielsa, will play when he is fit enough to do himself and the team justice.

His response formed part of an epic 59-minute conference in which United's head coach provided detailed and passionate responses to just five questions next to Whites assistant coach and translator Diego Flores.

A question about expectation at Elland Road led to Bielsa stating that he thought United's fans had now lost belief and were now seeking any sort of attempt at a solution and lifeline akin to a person dying in the sea.

Bielsa, though, insisted he was fine with the demands of United's promotion quest and only putting as much passion as possible into communicating his points with the club's fans.

Asked how he was faring in the pressured situation - even with his vast experience - Bielsa said: "There is no tension, there is no pressure. I don’t feel pressure and I don’t feel I am showing tension.

"I express like that because I want to combine when I talk. I’m not stressed.

"When I’m really interested to combine, I put this energy into the communication. But after thinking that I am combining because there are no problems between us.

"After I will know what you think before after I read the press. The last word always is yours.

"I know that communication guarantees nothing. But for me what matters, what is important, is that supporters know what I think.

"This is not a relation between you and me. It’s a relationship between me and the public that you write for.

"For the reasons what I say doesn’t mean that you are not going to transmit 100 per cent as I say. You are going to say what you think."

Despite a recent run that is fourth worst in the division taken over the club's last nine games, Bielsa's men remain the division's automatic promotion spots, albeit with a significantly reduced lead.

The next week will now see Leeds take on three of the division's top six with tonight's clash at Forest followed by Tuesday night's trip to fifth-placed Brentford and Saturday's hosting of sixth-placed Bristol City.

Leeds have taken eight points from their last nine games which have resulted in two wins, three draws and four losses.

Asked if he felt that he now needed to convince United's fans, Bielsa said: "No, I need to say what I think. And for supporters to listen to what I think. But like a car, it’s for you to transmit this information.

"Like, you don’t switch or change opinion between you, you are not going to say to me if you think different about what I am thinking.

"You say that to the public, so for this reason I know it’s a lost fight.

"I would wish that you would say to me, I’m wrong. "Because for my opinion this kind of relationship just is useful if you combine him or he combines you.

"That means a product of this relationship, you can take just one truth and make a link with it.

"That would be ideal because that would be good will to the supporter.

"But this never happens because I say when I think and journalists never say to me if I am wrong.

"So there is not just one truth. So there is one truth, but with limits, conditions. All of us know those limits and conditions."