Bielsa demands Leeds improvement after hard-earned derby win over Huddersfield
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa demanded improvement from his promotion-chasing side after a hard-earned derby win at Huddersfield.
Goals from Ezgjan Alioski and Pablo Hernandez secured a sixth consecutive win that saw Bielsa’s side climb above promotion rivals West Brom.
But Argentine Bielsa still believes there is room for improvement from his team despite them extending their unbeaten run to nine matches.
“We defended set-pieces badly, but our first goal from Alioski made it easier for us to develop the play,” reflected Bielsa.
“In the first half we should have created more chances, but we had some opportunities and we couldn’t end them very well.
“We could have scored more goals, but we could have conceded a goal as well.
“We struggled with our last past when we arrived in good positions, but it’s good to have chances rather than not.
“The second half was different, but we had problems in both halves with set-pieces.”
Leeds have four more points now than at the same stage last season, but Bielsa is adamant it is hard to make a comparison of their hopes of achieving promotion to the Premier League.
“We can not test the team in this moment, we need more time to test this,” stressed the Argentine.
Former Real Madrid keeper Kiko Casilla made two excellent saves to deny striker Steve Mounie and then midfielder Elias Kachunga after the break.
And Bielsa praised his keeper’s influential display adding: “We wish he’d have less to do, but today he had a great impact on the result.
“He made two important saves and made a big impact.”
Huddersfield manager Danny Cowley was proud of his players and frustrated there was no end product to reward a battling performance.
“We did well in the first half and played with energy and purpose, we disrupted their [Leeds] rhythm,” reflected Cowley.
“They scored with their first shot on target, but we’ll always be critical when we concede goals.
“We then chased the game and that left us open, which is always going to happen against a team as good as Leeds.
“But I’m proud of my players because we changed the style and the system. We only had 11 senior players, so that’s why we did it.
“We tried to hurt them in the spaces behind and I thought we showed good penetration at times.
“But we weren’t able to get good value for chances which we needed to.
“It’s been a learning curve in football because Marcelo Bielsa is a pioneer in football.
“It’s been one of my toughest weeks in football, but we did cause them some problems.”
Huddersfield have gone five matches without a win and this defeat was their first to Leeds for four years.
“It’s not terminal here, but there is a storm,” warned Cowley. “But we have to roll with the punches and get over these disappointments.
“We spoke to him [Bielsa] after the game and he said ‘in January, you’ll be a team on the way up!
“It was a nice thing for him to say. Hopefully he sees we’re in a difficult position, but fighting hard for each other.”