Bristol City v Leeds United: Players showing required mental toughness for Marcelo Bielsa

Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa: Making small tweaks.
Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa: Making small tweaks.
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LEEDS UNITED supporters making their way to the West Country today will, no doubt, have an eye on the lunchtime events back in Yorkshire.

Sheffield United, two points behind second-placed Leeds, host Rotherham United knowing that victory will put the pressure on their rivals from up the M1.

In a division where the leadership has changed hands a remarkable 22 times already, predicting which team will be where come the end of the weekend is not easy.

But Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa insists his side have the mental strength to cope with whatever comes their way today at Bristol City.

“We focus more on details because the more you accumulate games in weeks and months of competition, the stronger is the structure of the group and the team,” said the Argentinian. “So what we try to do is to correct the small things we see.

“In this team the mental state is more something that is the responsibility of the players. They manage that by themselves because they showed they deserve this freedom, this independence.

“Apart from the fact we could have ups and downs they always build the right state of mind to compete.

“The players could overcome the bad moments and they got good moments, too.”

Leeds have a fine recent record against Bristol City.

Since league rivalry was resumed in 2010 after a 30-year hiatus United have won 10 of 13 meetings and lost just once. Four of those victories have come at Ashton Gate.

The Robins go into the game on the back of having claimed just one point from the last nine available. Before that, though, City won seven in a row to power into the play-offs picture.

This stirring run continued a trend in Lee Johnson’s managerial career for results that tend to be either feast or famine.

Earlier this season, for instance, the Robins lost four in a row, while last term included two four-game winning runs in the league and a sequence of five losses in a row.

Even at Barnsley Johnson’s side once suffered seven straight losses only to bounce back with a six-game winning run that preceded his move to Ashton Gate in February, 2016.

“It is obviously one of the important teams of the Championship,” said Bielsa. “It is a balanced team with good players in all the sectors. They have a clear style and they can use their ideas of football in almost all games.