Marcelo Bielsa: Leeds United manager accuses media of trying to 'destabilise' his side

Marcelo Bielsa told reporters on Thursday: "Normally, when there is adversity, what you guys do is try to weaken those facing adversity or to ridicule the style of play of a team"; watch Leeds United vs Burnley live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event on Sunday; kick-off 12pm

Leeds United's Argentinian head coach Marcelo Bielsa walks along the touchline ahead of the English Premier League football match between Everton and Leeds United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on November 28, 2020. (Photo by Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE.
Image: Marcelo Bielsa said what's written in the press 'influences the public, they decrease the capacity to understand for the public'

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has accused sections of the media of trying to destabilise his side by continuing to question his style of play.

Bielsa arrived at his press conference before Sunday's home Premier League game against Burnley armed with a dossier in response to criticism of Leeds after last week's heavy defeat at Manchester United.

Leeds have earned rave reviews for their commitment to attack in their first season back in the top flight, but Bielsa has clearly been hurt by some of the media's reaction to the 6-2 loss at Old Trafford.

"I don't worry too much about what the press think," Bielsa said. "I always listen, read and take the best possible message from what's written.

Man Utd v Leeds highlights 2:58
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United's win over Leeds United in the Premier League

"What does worry me is what is written influences the public, they decrease the capacity to understand for the public.

"Also, (they) try to destabilise by suggesting to the players the style needs to be changed. Of course, this happens when the results allow. It doesn't matter if in the previous game the opinion was completely different."

Leeds' latest league defeat was their seventh of the season, but they have registered five wins and have been widely accepted as a thrilling addition to the top flight.

Also See:

Bielsa spent over 40 minutes forensically analysing Sunday's game in answer to one question and accepted his side once again failed to convert enough of their chances.

But he said the "real reasons" why Leeds lost had not been taken into account by his critics.

"This is not something new as media platforms, journalists, can only analyse results," he said. "Normally, when there is adversity, what you guys do is try to weaken those facing adversity or to ridicule the style of play of a team."

Live Renault Super Sunday

He also accepted full responsibility for his side's shortcomings in central midfield - he withdrew both Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich at half-time - but insisted he will not be changing his approach.

"I don't worry about the objectives of the press's questions," he said. "If I did, I wouldn't be able to manage.

"What worries me about the press is the effect it has on the public. All (my) explanations are for the public to hear.

"I know I lose in this battle. I know the public need a simple explanation and mine is complex.

"I don't have the intention that it will be valued or heard, but there is a conduct when you face these kinds of things."

Leeds vs Burnley on Sky Sports

Leeds vs Burnley

Leeds will be without captain Liam Cooper for Sunday's home game against Burnley.

Cooper has been ruled out due to an abdominal strain and joins fellow centre-half Robin Koch on the sidelines.

Koch is a long-term absentee following knee surgery, but Spain defender Diego Llorente could make his home debut after recovering from a muscle strain. It remains to be seen whether Bielsa makes further changes following last week's defeat.

Burnley wingers Dwight McNeil and Robbie Brady are doubtful.

preview image 2:55
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Burnley’s win over Wolves in the Premier League

The pair were both withdrawn in Monday's 2-1 win over Wolves - McNeil suffering from a tight groin and Brady with a hamstring issue - although neither problem is thought to be a long-term concern.

Forward Matej Vydra has tweaked a muscle in his back and is another doubt while midfield pair Jack Cork and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are making progress in their recoveries from injuries but will not feature at Elland Road.

How to follow

Leeds vs Burnley will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 11.30am on Sunday; kick-off at 12pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Free highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Watch the Premier League live on Sky Sports

At least 146 Premier League games will be shown live on Sky Sports in the 2020/21 season. The Premier League has further increased the number of televised games this season from 200 to 231, with over half of the extra fixtures set to be shown live on Sky Sports.

Overall, Sky Sports will be showing at least 146 Premier League matches live throughout the 2020/21 season, continuing to bring you all the latest twists, turns and shocks at the home of the Premier League. There will also be two additional midweek programmes - one will be played across the weeks commencing January 11 and 18 and the second will be in the week commencing May 10. All of these games will be broadcast live.

You can also follow the action with our dedicated live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch free match highlights from every game shortly after full-time on our digital platforms and YouTube channel.

Win £1,000,000 for free with Super 6!

Win £1,000,000 for free with Super 6!

The £1,000,000 returns for Boxing Day. Enter your predictions for free and you could become a millionaire!

Around Sky