Marcelo Bielsa believes table-topping Leeds can still improve

Posted Saturday, September 01, 2018 by PA

Marcelo Bielsa believes table-topping Leeds can still improve

Marcelo Bielsa insists there is plenty of improvement to come from Leeds after watching his side stretch their unbeaten start in the Sky Bet Championship with a goalless draw against Middlesbrough.

After suffering his first defeat as United head coach in the Carabao Cup in midweek, Bielsa restored the bulk of his preferred XI and his players dug in to go into the international break top of the table.

Leeds came closest to breaking the deadlock when right-back Luke Ayling had a header cleared off the line but Middlesbrough had their moments in a tight contest.

“It’s a fair result,” said Bielsa. “It was very hard to build a game.

“In spite of this we had four or five chances on goal, but we also conceded the same amount of chances, from set-pieces mainly.

“In order to evaluate the result, I compare the domination of the game and the actions of ball we had.

“It’s not that we dominated the game but what we did was pretty good. But in terms of conceding chances the result is fair.”

United have won four and drawn two of their opening six Championship fixtures but Bielsa is not getting carried away with his start in English football.

“You can’t make any definite conclusions,” he added.

“We’ve played against different types of rivals. This game was very difficult – the physical challenge was special. But I think the more games we play like this one we’ll be more ready to find solutions.

“We could consider what we did so far as satisfactory. We have many things to improve too in games like the one (against Middlesbrough).”

Pablo Hernandez missed the match through injury and Bielsa revealed he played safe with the Spanish playmaker.

“He could have played but we would have taken a risk to put him in the starting XI,” said Bielsa.

“He was tired from a muscular point of view and we didn’t have enough time to be sure it couldn’t worsen.”

Opposite number Tony Pulis has overseen the same set of results, with his team registering a fifth straight clean sheet at Elland Road.

“They overload on one side of the pitch and try to catch you out, and defensively we were very good,” said Pulis.

“The disappointment is we have got better players in possession than we showed, although we’ve had the best chances and should have had a penalty in the first half.

“All in all, I’m pleased with the effort and commitment. I thought it was a real good British game of football.

“The crowd were fabulous. This is a great club with great support.

“We’ve played West Brom and Leeds now and got four points, so we’re pleased.”




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