Leeds United's start to the season no surprise, insists Marcelo Bielsa

Marcelo Bielsa insisted that Leeds United's pulsating start to the season had come as no surprise to him and welcomed the early injection of confidence ahead of Tuesday's trip to Swansea City.

Monday, 20th August 2018, 6:07 pm
Updated Monday, 20th August 2018, 6:15 pm
Marcelo Bielsa.

Bielsa said his expectations had not been surpassed by Leeds opening their campaign with four straight wins, a run which made him the first head coach in the club’s history to start his reign with so many victories back-to-back.

Three of those results came in the Championship and Bielsa’s squad will attempt to protect the division’s only remaining 100 per cent record with another win at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday night.

Bielsa joined United in June on the back of a demoralising season which led to the dismissal of two managers, Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom, and ended with the club in 13th position.

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Marcelo Bielsa.

The former Argentina boss has dramatically overhauled Leeds’ style of play, using many existing squad members to employ his attacking ethos, and the impact was felt quickly in impressive league defeats of Stoke City, Derby County and Rotherham United.

Bielsa, though, said he had been optimistic of making early inroads having arrived in time for the start of pre-season and prepared his players throughout the summer.

WATCH: Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa's pre-Swansea City press conference“I don't think it was fast,” he said, in response to a question about how rapidly his side had acclimatised to his methods. “In football six weeks is a long time. The challenges are above transmitting the style. The challenge is to try and be faithful to this style for a long period.

“But it’s always important to have good results, especially at the beginning of the season when you need to build confidence. That’s the period when you simulate the style. When you win, it’s always easier to accept the idea of a style of play.”

Swansea, who Leeds last met more than seven years ago, hold an unbeaten league record having made a positive start to their first Championship campaign since 2010-11.

The club were relegated from the Premier League last season, giving them the benefit for parachute payments, and they emerged from a tough transfer window to begin their campaign with wins over Sheffield United and Preston North End and a goalless draw at Birmingham City last Friday.

“This competition has different kinds of difficulties,” Bielsa said. “You have to face each difficulty.

“The first game we played was against a team (Stoke) who are similar to Swansea, but we played at home. The second game was against a team (Derby) who belong to the top six.

“The third game was against a team (Rotherham) who were promoted from League One but all of the games were difficult and demanding. I imagine the same for this game.”