Relieved Marcelo Bielsa on Leeds United's win over Watford, Jack Harrison decision and player tipped to be 'special contributor'

A relieved Marcelo Bielsa said his Leeds United side deserved to win by more than Diego Llorente's solitary goal in their 1-0 victory over Watford.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 7:15 pm
RELIEVED BOSS - Marcelo Bielsa saw Leeds United hold on for a 1-0 win over Watford, although they should have been out of sight. Pic: Getty

It was the first time the Whites have picked up a win in the Premier League this season and while the result was of huge significance, the performance also pleased Bielsa.

"Of course I feel relief, three points from a possible 18 is something to worry about. Independent of what we deserved or not and to be able to win today was a necessity," he said.

"There were a lot of positive things - we didn't make errors, we didn't allow counter attacks, we didn't let their forwards stand out. In the first hour of play we created a lot of danger. In the last 30 minutes perhaps a little bit less. It was a deserved win and the difference could have been bigger. There were some players who shone and that was it.

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"I think the one goal difference, when the opponent perceives the game is ending they take risks. I had the impression that we didn't lose our calm."

Bielsa picked out a handful of his players for their efforts against the Hornets, including Llorente who was returning from the fifth injury of his time at Leeds.

"I thought Shackleton evolved, Diego Llorente came back well, Phillips had influence, Tyler Roberts came in very well and the rest were level from a medium to up," he said.

"Llorente didn't make defensive errors, he distributed the ball with precision and intelligence and he scored a goal, which is a good way to round off a solid performance."

Daniel James, who put in his best performance in a Leeds shirt since a £25m move from Manchester United, also impressed the head coach.

"Every time he plays he plays better than the previous game," said Bielsa.

"He shows resources and qualities we know he has. He is going to become a special contributor to our team."

James started on the left wing instead of Jack Harrison, who Bielsa explained was only going to play in an emergency having picked up a slight knock. Crysencio Summerville missed out through illness and Stuart Dallas, another who performed better than some of his recent games, came off with an injury in the second half but Bielsa was unable to issue an update on the Ulsterman.

"Summerville is sick and I haven't had an update on Dallas," said Bielsa.

"I was only going to bring Harrison on today if it was indispensable, he has a pain in his obliques. It wasn't necessary for him to come on."