Marcelo Bielsa insists he is doing all in his power to ensure Leeds secure the promotion many feel his reign deserves – and admits he is aware of the success would mean to the city and their supporters.
Despite a stuttering run of form at the start of 2020 that saw Leeds blow a one-time 11-point lead at the summit and win just once in 11 games, United go into Saturday’s home date with Reading in a much better mood following a deserved and dominant 1-0 victory over Bristol City last time out that saw the club restore a three-point advantage to third.
And Bielsa, who spoke warmly about the attributes that Kalvin Phillips brings to the Leeds side, was asked if he knew quite what it would mean to the city were the club able to secure promotion back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.
“What I can realise is the wish of the people of Leeds, the desire,” he said. “I cannot feel the rest of the country, I don’t know how to realise that.
“How I manage the situation? Our job has a rule common for every situation, we have to win the next match. Every match deserves one phrase that is very common in our job: the phrase ‘we have to win’.
“I am aware from this from the first day of people in Leeds wanting this, wishing this.”
Bielsa talks up passion of Leeds supporters Bielsa was then asked if he had experienced the passion of the Leeds support before, with the club regularly selling out their home matches and the scramble for tickets becoming more and more difficult.
“[I’ve] Experienced it before as well,” he added. “If there is something makes this job attractive to me, it is when I am in contact with the passion of the supporters. There is a situation that makes a difference between people working in football and the fans. We touch many to do this job. The supporters love their club. The only thing they receive is emotions. We receive money and this puts us in another level. For this reason, the supporter is the best thing in football.”
Bielsa, meanwhile, insists Kiko Casilla continues to train as normal, but insists Leeds do have a plan in place in case their No 1 is suspended following an investigation into alleged racist abuse.
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