Marcelo Bielsa 'happy' with Leeds United loanee Jack Harrison despite substitutions

Marcelo Bielsa insisted he was happy with the form of Jack Harrison despite subjecting the winger to another half-time substitution in Leeds United's 2-0 defeat to Hull City.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 30th December 2018, 8:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 1:53 am
Leeds United loanee Jack Harrison in action at Elland Road.
Leeds United loanee Jack Harrison in action at Elland Road.

Harrison’s struggle to assert himself at Leeds continued on Saturday as another opportunity ended with him making way for teenager Jack Clarke after 45 minutes.

The on-loan Manchester City player suffered the same treatment in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa six days earlier as Bielsa used the half-time introduction of Clarke to inspire a dramatic fightback from 2-0 down at Villa Park.

Harrison came to Elland Road in August with high expectations surrounding him and Bielsa was personally involved in the attempt to persuade Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to allow the 22-year-old to move to the Championship on a season-long loan.

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Guardiola - a long-time admirer of Biesla’s - had been using Harrison in City’s senior pre-season programme but granted Leeds’ request to sign him a week before the start of the Championship term.

Since then, Harrison has started 10 times in the league but failed to make a consistent impact on the club’s campaign. He left the field on Saturday with Leeds trailing 1-0 to a goal from Hull’s Jarrod Bowen.

Clarke, meanwhile, has caught the attention with a string of influential displays off the bench but Bielsa is yet to start the 18-year-old in a competitive fixture.

Bielsa said: “In the the first half Jack Harrison did good things and I think it’s good that he shares the game with Jack Clarke.

“The performance of Harrison is the performance of a starter. I think the performance of Jack Clarke was the same so you could also understand the question as ‘maybe Clarke should play more than 45 minutes’ but I think both players are giving good things to the team.

“Sometimes I look at the features and weaknesses of the opponent and I think about the skills of Jack Clarke and Jack Harrison. Then I take decisions. It doesn’t mean I always take the right decision but these are the aspects I take into account.”