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Football – Bielsa blames Leeds for decline and spongy defense

English Premier League - Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur
Football – Premier League – Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur – Elland Road, Leeds, England – February 26, 2022 Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa after the game Action images via Reuters / Molly Darlington

February 26, 2022

By Peter Hall

LEEDS, England (Reuters) – Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa insists his players are not to blame for his side’s recent poor form following Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur – the Yorkshire club’s fifth defeat in their last six.

Another heavy defeat saw Leeds conceded 20 goals in February, the most goals conceded by a team in a calendar month in the league, and the most in a single month by a top team. since Newcastle United in April 1986.

Their poor form has dragged Leeds into a battle for relegation in the Premier League, with Bielsa’s side now three points above the bottom of the table having played three more games than 18th-placed Burnley.

“There’s no team going through a result where we have confidence in the coach,” Bielsa said. “I feel supported by the whole team with the effort they are putting in me.

“We have a distinctive style, with a speed of switching speed and we can defend as a unit. Not now. When we lose the ball, we are making it easy for the opponent.

“When the players give their all with so much effort, it is clear that what I propose is not what they can do. It is not the application of the players when the process does not give the expected results”.

Injuries have plagued Leeds’ season so far, with centre-back Liam Cooper, centre-back Kalvin Phillips and running forward Patrick Bamford all out long-term, but Bielsa makes no excuses.

“The problem is not with the absence of players,” Bielsa added. “With others that are suitable it would be better, but obviously we should not attribute the results to this.

“Our way of playing has two big needs – there is a compulsion in the opposing half, so the opposing strikers receive the ball, they feel uncomfortable. And in the last three games that hasn’t happened.”

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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Ashley

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