Marcelo Bielsa has defended his decision to make goalkeeper Kiko Casilla Leeds' captain for Wednesday night's Carabao Cup defeat to Hull.
Casilla was banned for eight matches in February and fined £60,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing Charlton forward Jonathan Leko, causing Leeds fans to express their concerns over the decision to make him captain on social media.
"I interpreted the feeling of his team-mates," Bielsa said after Casilla skippered the side in the absence of the injured Liam Cooper. "His team-mates think he deserved to be the captain and we have to listen to those messages."
Bielsa added: "The players see in their captain someone they feel can represent them. I respect the opinions of any person. After that opinions can be argued.
"Surely those who judge Kiko ignore a lot of the things his team-mates see in him?"
Bielsa said he could not ignore his players' request because a section of fans did not agree with it.
"You're saying I should have contemplated over whether to pick Kiko as captain, either take the opinion of the fans or the players," he said.
"I cannot deny that the captain not only represents his team-mates, but he also represents the club. The opinion of the masses should always be heard. But I don't know if you guys know what percentage of fans it is.
"Of course we also value the conduct of Kiko, which only we can judge because we are part of the group."
Casilla has consistently denied abusing Leko, despite the FA's guilty verdict, and following the governing body's ruling, said: "I do not feel at all that the guilty verdict is a clear reflection of the incident."
Hull clinched a deserved upset at Leeds in the Carabao Cup second round after winning a penalty shootout 9-8.
Tigers defender Alfie Jones scored the decisive penalty after Leeds had been fortunate to force a 1-1 draw through Ezgjan Alioski's stoppage-time equaliser.
Hull had deservedly led through forward Mallik Wilks, who appeared to have sunk his former club with a deflected early first-half effort.
Leeds were disappointing after making 11 changes and had next to no chances throughout 90 minutes before Alioski slammed home an unlikely leveller in the fourth minute of added time.
Read the full match report here.