Why Marcelo Bielsa believes Leeds United's start will be a 'lost opportunity' should form fail to improve
Marcelo Bielsa admitted the blame for any failure to improve Leeds United's form would be his alone and called their league position 'a lost opportunity' despite the club lying fifth in the Championship.
In a half-hour press conference, during which he outlined various worries about his team, United’s head coach insisted he possessed the “resources and authority” to raise their performances and reiterated his anxiety about United’s results.
Bielsa said it was “impossible not to see as a problem” Leeds’ record of two wins from eight games, a run of fixtures which ended in a second defeat of the season at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
The 63-year-old was open at Ewood Park in voicing concern and again stressed the need for more telling displays ahead of tonight’s visit of bottom-of-the-table Ipswich Town to Elland Road.
Leeds are in a strong league position, within striking distance of Sheffield United, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City, but Bielsa said the make-up of the division was “not a satisfaction” and put pressure on himself to rediscover the verve which took his squad to the top of the table in August.
Leeds United v Ipswich Town: New dad Pontus Jansson unlikely to start with outing 'premature' for Barry Douglas“For me, it’s not a satisfaction to be close to first place,” Bielsa said. “It’s a lost opportunity.
“In the first five games we won four of them. In the last eight games we only won twice. It’s impossible not to see a problem in this case.
“We are trying to make the right diagnosis because otherwise any correction would be a mistake. We need to correct and we have to change this cycle of results. We have to find out the real reason for us not winning the games.”
Bielsa’s squad has been peppered by missing players since the latter stages of pre-season and centre-back Pontus Jansson is out of the clash with Ipswich having been unexpectedly hit with a one-match ban by the Football Association last night.
Leeds made a limited number changes to their first-team squad in the summer and Bielsa is relying heavily on players he inherited from former head coaches Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom but the ex-Argentina boss pointed to the ways in which United could get better and said he would have no excuse for a continuation of their current form.
WATCH: Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa speaks to the media ahead of Ipswich Town clash“I’m responsible for all this,” Bielsa said. “I insist a lot to improve as much we can the aspects I mention.
“I have the resources and the authority to improve things and if I can't do that it will be my responsibility.”
Bielsa also dismissed the claim that some of Leeds’ football under him had shown them to be the best side in the division and revealed that changes to his line-up were under consideration for the visit of Ipswich.
Midfielder Pablo Hernandez, who came off the bench at Ewood Park after a seven-game absence through injury, is among those who are expected to start.
“Sometimes you can change things with work on the minds of the players,” Bielsa said. “Sometimes you can change it with changing the starters
“Are we the best team in the Championship? Compared to the other teams I don't think we are that good. All the teams have ups and downs and we can't say we are good enough not to have ups and downs.