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Leeds United winger Raphinha talks up Marcelo Bielsa quality

Raphinha talks up Marcelo Bielsa quality
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Leeds United winger Raphinha claims that Marcelo Bielsa is like a "father figure" to the squad, following suggestions that the Argentine is "cold" with his players.

Leeds United winger Raphinha has praised manager Marcelo Bielsa, following a report that suggested the Argentine is "cold" towards his players.

The Yorkshire club are enjoying their first season back in the Premier League since the 2003-04 campaign, and victory against league leaders Manchester City on Saturday gave the Whites a third consecutive three points.

Following suggestions that Bielsa is distant from his players, 24-year-old Raphinha backed his manager, insisting he is like a "caring father figure" to the squad.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Raphinha said: "It's been great to work with Bielsa. He's always trying to make things better and improve the standards of everything and everyone, and the only way to do that is through hard work. Bielsa is a demanding manager, but that's normal for top professionals.

"It's important to mention his human side, too: he cares for everyone and tries to see how he can help every individual to get better. In a big squad, some guys naturally don't get as much game time as they'd like, and it would be easy for them to feel a little bit down. But then Bielsa comes to talk to them, explains his reasons and keeps everyone motivated.

"Some people don't appreciate the importance of that, but I do. Sometimes players need this attention and the support of their leader.

"In football, the coach is often a father figure for players. He wants to get the very best out of them, but cares as well. It's not a cold relationship, and that's definitely the case with Bielsa. It's easy to work with him."

Bielsa was appointed at Elland Road in 2018 and guided Leeds to the Premier League last season after winning the Championship by 10 points.

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