'They have stuck to their beliefs' - Graham Potter lauds Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa ahead of Brighton meeting

Brighton boss Graham Potter has huge respect for Leeds United for the way they have stuck to their beliefs in the Premier League.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 11:46 am
Brighton head coach Graham Potter. Pic: Getty

The Whites sit ninth in the top flight table ahead of Saturday's trip to face the Seagulls at the Amex stadium.

Marcelo Bielsa has masterminded an impressive debut campaign for the Elland Road club following promotion as Championship winners last summer.

Leeds have earned praise for their commitment to their intense attacking style under their Argentine head coach which saw the initial objective of staying in the top flight met some weeks ago.

Sign up to our Leeds United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Potter - whose side remain seven points clear of the drop zone with five games to play - says he has nothing but admiration for his next opponents in how they have attacked the division.

"They’ve been together for a few seasons, they’re well organised and know what they’re doing," Potter said.

"They’ve got threats all over the pitch, they can attack you down the sides, through the middle. The intensity they play at has been well documented. They play with aggression and if you don’t match that, then it’s going to be a tough afternoon.

"They have had bumps along the way, but they have stuck to their beliefs, stuck to what they think is the right thing for them. In football there are no rights or wrongs, they make the changes and they make them well and they work hard to make them work. That’s why I have a huge respect for them."

Asked about his opposite number in the dugout, Potter added: "I think he [Bielsa] has done a fantastic job and everyone at Leeds United has done really well.

"It’s great to have them back in the top flight, it’s a great football club with tradition. The way they have taken on the challenge doesn’t surprise me, I knew they would carry on playing the way they play.

"It always makes me smile a bit when teams have success doing something and then they change when they get to the top and I knew that wouldn’t be the case for Leeds. Congratulations to them.

"Historically I have been aware of his teams. I haven’t had an in depth look at his methods in terms of how his teams train.

"His [Athletic] Bilbao team I remember playing at Old Trafford and doing fantastically well, his time coaching the national team. One of my first games back in the UK was against Leeds United, it was our first or second home game.

"He’s not someone I am necessarily familiar with, but he is someone that I have followed and have huge admiration for."