MX23RW : Sunday, February 17 18:49:07

Leeds go top as boss Bielsa tells his players to show they deserve to stay there

Tyler Roberts got the only goal against Hull.

Manager Marcelo Bielsa challenged his Leeds players to keep proving their title credentials as they returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-0 victory at Hull.

Tyler Roberts’ superb long-range strike gave the visitors all three points as Bielsa’s men returned to winning ways with a deserved success at the KCOM Stadium.

But Bielsa said: “We will have to demonstrate that we can stay top of the league. We’ll have to demonstrate that we deserve (to stay there).

“Taking into account the last two games, we should have had three more points.

“The ranking doesn’t illustrate what you deserve, but what you’ve got.”

Leeds were good value for the win, with the scoreline not a true reflection of a game they controlled for long periods.

Mat Klich and Ezgjan Alioski spurned good first-half chances, while other opportunities came and went as the away team threatened to cut loose after the restart.

Bielsa said: “We were not efficient enough (up front).

“When (there is) just a one-goal difference there is always the possibility of conceding a goal. This made the game more complicated than it was.

“Until the last 10 minutes we controlled the game, controlled possession, controlled the field.”

The Argentinian was keen to praise Roberts for his performance and goal against limited opposition.

Bielsa said: “He has adapted himself very decently. I think he is a player with character and personality – he can express his virtues and his skills.

“This is something very important for a young player. He is a serious player.”

The Leeds manager added that Barry Douglas, who was substituted in the second half, suffered a muscular injury but that it was too early to make a diagnosis on the extent of the problem.

Hull have now won once in seven games and remain just above the relegation zone.

They never looked capable of equalising once Leeds took the lead, but manager Nigel Adkins accepted the Tigers had been beaten by a high-quality side.

Adkins said: “We’ve probably played against one of the best teams in the Championship I’ve seen in many years.

“They are going to take teams to the cleaners this season. If you think we are on a level playing field, we’re not.

“It was very disappointing to concede a goal from so far out, and that’s given them the game.

“I’d have liked us to have passed the ball better. The quality we were after probably wasn’t quite there.

“They’ve had a few opportunities, but we’ve given ourselves an opportunity right until the very end.”

Adkins added: “We are where we are. I’m not happy with it, but we are trying hard on the training ground with the group of guys we’ve got.

“There’s a spirit about them. We’ve got to keep our spirits high.”


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