Image source: Glyn Kirk - Pool/Getty Images
Leeds United are preparing to host Southampton in the Premier League on Tuesday, February 23. Ahead of the game, Marcelo Bielsa gave a press conference during which he provided team news update and spoke out on other topics.
On team news: “Phillips? He’s not available for tomorrow’s game. Rodrigo also. But Llorente is back. Berardi is evolving, the same as Poveda. Forshaw is in a process which is a lot slower.”
On what are Rodrigo and Kalvin’s problems?: “I’ve been saying it since the day they’ve been injured, but I’ll say it again.
“Rodrigo slipped in the game against Leicester and his legs separated a big width apart and he has a small problem in the inside of his groin.
“Kalvin has a muscular problem in his calf.”
On Southampton: “Every team has a bunch of negative results. The only teams that don’t have this problem are the ones at the top of the table. The teams in the middle of the table have not as big squads. When they are missing four or five players like everyone else they have to opt for youngsters to make substitutions during games.
“And this presents a different reality. THat’s why the teams who are not in the biggest clubs, they need to go and prove in their squads over a period of a few years.
“It’s clear that to be able to shine in the PL you need at least 18 players who can be starters.”
On how long could process of getting back into the top six take?: “This year the club invested £100m and bought in six players. The make up of the squad and the investment that the club makes to improve the starting XI will mark how long it will take. FOr example, if Pascal is able to make himself as PL CB which is what everything indicates, he is a product of the youth teams. It’s a big help to find those 18 starting players I was talking about. SO it’s all subject to the evolution of the players who integrate the project. From this season 20-21, there are a number of corrections that are considered until you make up the 18 starting players.”
On his future: “What I said, the first thing I want to highlight because what it seems like is that the president of offering an extension and I am delaying it, it could be interrupted as the club having more of a desire to stay than I do and that’s not the case. In no way do I want to position myself above the club. I reiterate, I am not going to manage any other options until my job here at Leeds is done. There is no speculation from my part.
“The second thing is that the decision to work in a club for another year is so important that you must have a clear security. When you have a third of the season left to play perhaps in this period there will be things that happen that will alter the judgement that is useful to have in mind. That is my reasoning. So I go to what you ask me.
“If the club needs and answer before the end of the season, I will respond before the end of the season. But if this happens I will take the time to tell them that they should consider what happens in the last part of the season. In this case it’s possible that they could say to me wait until the end of the season or they say they need to resolve it now. If they need a response prior to the end of the season I will give one.”
source – leeds-live