Marcelo Bielsa happy to talk about Leeds United future after play-off exit

LEEDS UNITED head coach Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that he is ready to talk to the Elland Road hierarchy about potentially remaining at the club in the wake of the Whites’ Championship play-off semi-final exit to Derby County.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road on a dramatic Wednesday night. Picture: Nick Potts/PA
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road on a dramatic Wednesday night. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

United saw their hopes of reaching Wembley ended in a dramatic 4-2 home loss to Derby County on a painful night at Elland Road as the visitors booked their place in the Championship final after a 4-3 aggregate win.

On his future, Bielsa, 63, who felt that Leeds paid the price for a 20-minute loss of control in the second-half, said: “As you can imagine, it is not convenient to talk about this right now.

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“(But) If the club offers me the possibility to carry on, I will listen about this proposal.”

Despair for Leeds United's Pablo Hernandez at the final whistle. Picture Tony Johnson.

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On the result, the Argentine added: “It leaves a feeling of disappointment.

“Regarding the commitment of the players, they could not commit more to what they have done.

“It will be very difficult to see how these players play at the same level during one whole season.

“Regarding the difficulties, we had so many difficulties in different aspects that managing them, it would always look as a justification as we could not reach our goal,” he added.

Bielsa conceded that Berardi’s red card contributed to his side’s downfall.

“We should have made a bigger difference in the first half,” he said. “The second half was an unpredictable one and it’s difficult to analyse it.

“We conceded in the first half and the opponent was dangerous. And in the second half the game was unbalanced and they found the spaces that usually they didn’t find.”

Derby boss Frank Lampard was keen to stress the play-off job was not yet complete.

“The players have done it,” he said. “The work rate through the year... (but) we’re not there yet. I’m a bit worried because I watched Villa do this last night, but the players deserve a moment.

“There’s work to do. This isn’t the end of the celebration. We’re underdogs again. We’ll have a tough game at Wembley against a brilliant Villa team, but we’re there.

“We changed the system, we made a little tweak, and it worked brilliantly.

“It was tough (to watch) but beautiful in the end. They’re a top-quality team and you’ve got to be nervous to the end because this means so much to so many people.”