'The result was insufficient' - Marcelo Bielsa on what Leeds United deserved against Wolves and Joe Gelhardt cameo
Marcelo Bielsa saw a Leeds United side that looked a lot more like themselves and deserved more than the point they rescued late on at home to Wolves.
The Argentine admitted to a 'very sad week' after the 1-0 defeat at Southampton last weekend, when Leeds were unable to produce anything resembling the football they have become known for.
Against Wolves, despite going a goal down in unfortunate circumstances and losing star man Raphinha to a second half injury, they were on the front foot and dominant as the game wore on. It took until stoppage time but the equaliser their efforts deserved arrived when Joe Gelhardt won a penalty and Rodrigo smashed it into the net.
For Bielsa, the performance was a vast improvement but no more than a single step in the right direction.
"It was a step forward," he said.
"Compared to the game last week, which was a performance without shine, this performance looked a lot more like what the team is capable of.
"The feeling is that the group is sufficient to play the way that we want to play and to try and resolve every game. That applies only to the game today, and every game is an opportunity to express yourselves once again.
"I don't think there were players who didn't take on responsibility in the game. Llorente, Cooper and Pascal were very present. The youngsters made an important contribution. Dallas in the second half unbalanced. Rodrigo changed the course of the game in the last 30 minutes, he took the responsibility of the penalty which wasn't simple. In general lines I didn't see any players who didn't say they were present today. The first half of Cooper was also very significant.
"We desire [that the performance changes Leeds' season] ferociously, but the steps, we have to keep on taking them constantly."
Wolves were left clinging on in the second half as Leeds pressed forward and the visitors resorted to time wasting tactics to try and stem the bleeding. Jose Sa made a fantastic save from Gelhardt and crosses flashed across the area without a final touch, before Robert Jones' decision to award a decisive spot-kick deep in time added on.
Bielsa felt his men controlled the vast majority of the encounter and could have won it.
"Apart from the initial minutes in both halves, we could control the game," he said.
"And we created not too dangerous and not too many but sufficient amount of chances to have been able to win the game. I think as the game wore on, our insistence started to fatigue or waste their defence. And as the second half advanced, it started to generate presences with Dallas and James and Shackleton and Summerville and with Gelhardt and Rodrigo. And we could weary the opponent. As such I felt the result was insufficient as we could have scored more than one goal."
Gelhardt's Elland Road debut impressed his head coach, even if he took time to grow into the game.
"In the initial minutes of the 30 he played he had very few contacts with the ball but in the final 15 minutes he got the penalty and he had options to score one or perhaps two goals," said Bielsa.
"I had the impression that him alongside Rodrigo created enough chances to have won the game."
Bielsa was unable to offer an update on Raphinha's injury. He went off in the second half after a challenge by Romain Saiss and went straight down the tunnel, reappearing later in the game in a protective boot, walking with the aid of crutches.
"He has a knock but I don’t know the extent of it," said Bielsa.