MX23RW : Monday, October 22 21:27:22

Marcelo Bielsa unconcerned by fears Leeds may implode again

Defeat at home to Birmingham sparked suggestions Leeds’ form could dip like last season.

Marcelo Bielsa has shrugged off suggestions Leeds are ready to implode as they did last season in the Sky Bet Championship.

Bielsa’s side lost for the first time in the league this season at the weekend against Birmingham, which ended their eight-game unbeaten start.

Saturday’s shock defeat prompted fears of a repeat of their decline at the same stage of the 2017/18 campaign, but Bielsa remains unconcerned.

“It’s very difficult to make any comparison because I was not here last year,” he said. “I know what happened last year, I know what you are trying to underline.

“But I don’t think it’s good to compare both situations. The good idea is to resolve this situation right now.”

Leeds will bid to bounce back with victory in Friday’s Yorkshire derby at Sheffield Wednesday, which would keep them top of the table.

“We always try to be consciously optimistic and we have solid arguments to build optimism. We’ll have to show that next Friday,” the Argentinian said.

“You don’t react in the same way after a win than after a loss. After the game we lost, we asked some questions together. We built our conclusions together.

“We have had so far two training sessions where each player can express himself. The conclusions are positive ones and I have a lot of hope for Friday’s game.”

Bielsa said he will not make any changes at Hillsborough and repeated his claim that none of his players were to blame for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Elland Road.

The former Argentina and Chile coach instead took full responsibility for last week’s setback, admitting he had adopted the wrong playing system.

Leeds could be unchanged for the fourth successive Championship fixture, meaning fit-again midfielder Adam Forshaw will again start on the bench after recovering from a foot injury.

“Adam is ready to play,” added Bielsa, who confirmed none of his injured players will return in time to face Wednesday.

“(Patrick) Bamford and (Izzy) Brown (both knee) won’t be with us for a long time.

“(Kemar) Roofe (calf) is close to the first team, not immediately, but he’s close. (Gaetano) Berardi (knee) and Pablo (Hernandez, knee) also are close to the first team, but not as close as Roofe.”

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Middlesbrough13742167925
2Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd138142215725
3West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1373331181324
4Leeds UnitedLeeds1365223111223
5Derby CountyDerby136341714321
6Norwich CityNorwich136341716121
7Blackburn RoversBlackburn135621616021
8Wigan AthleticWigan136251516-120
9Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest134721815319
10Bristol City135441714319
11Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds135442020019
12Brentford134632015518
13Aston Villa134632120118
14Birmingham CityBirmingham133821412217
15Swansea CitySwansea134541210217
16Queens Park RangersQPR135261119-817
17Stoke CityStoke134451719-216
18Bolton WanderersBolton134451116-516
19Reading133371821-312
20Rotherham UnitedRotherham133371020-1012
21Preston North EndPreston132471925-610
22Millwall132471422-810
23Hull City132381120-99
24Ipswich TownIpswich131661120-99

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