Demanding Bielsa will get reaction as Leeds United prepare for Middlesbrough test

Leeds United's Pontus Jansson. PIC: Simon Hulme
Leeds United's Pontus Jansson. PIC: Simon Hulme
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PONTUS JANSSON insists that Marcelo Bielsa’s exacting standards will ensure that Leeds United’s players will not get carried away despite the club’s outstanding start to the Championship season.

Joint-leaders Leeds have dropped just two points out of a possible 15 available in five league games so far this term – and can move three points clear at the top with victory over Middlesbrough in tomorrow night’s eagerly-anticipated top-of-the-table encounter at Elland Road.

Despite the Whites’ feats, Bielsa’s players have been left under no illusions that there is still much room for improvement, according to Jansson – with the Argentine’s relentless pursuit of perfection driving them on a daily basis.

The Swedish international defender said: “I think we are playing well and deserve to be there (at the top).

“But the good thing now is that Marcelo and his staff do not want us to relax and they are on at us every single day.

“Even if we win, they can be on at us in another meeting for one hour about the game and say that we do not play good.

Marcelo Bielsa.

Marcelo Bielsa.

“We had a long meeting after the Swansea game. Two-two at Swansea is not a bad result and it was one point.

“But then we had a one-and-a-half hour meeting with Marcelo and he killed us almost! It was a good wake-up call and then we won 3-0 against Norwich. He keeps us on our toes all the time.”

The first blip of the Bielsa reign arrived on Tuesday evening when a much-changed Leeds side suffered a Carabao Cup exit to Preston – with United not short of incentives in their quest to provide an instant winning response tomorrow evening.

Victory would see Leeds sitting pretty in pole position during the first international break, but head coach Bielsa is reading nothing into the club’s current position, which he currently believes is inconsequential.

But then we had a one-and-a-half hour meeting with Marcelo and he killed us almost! It was a good wake-up call and then we won 3-0 against Norwich. He keeps us on our toes all the time.

Pontus Jansson

Bielsa, who confirmed that captain Liam Cooper is in the reckoning for tomorrow’s televised game, observed: “We do not take the table into account at this moment of the competition.

“The next game is important by itself. It is not important because we can be first.

“If we take each segment of the competition and make segmented conclusions, we would be making a mistake.

“Taking the example of last season in the middle of the competition, Leeds were third or fourth in the table and at the end, they finished 13th.

“That is why I make a reference to this (current) situation.”