Leeds United: Marcelo Bielsa confident Whites fans will stick by players

IF LEEDS UNITED are to turn things around after a tough 2021-22 season so far, players, staff and supporters are going to need to stick together.

In regard to United’s fanbase, Marcelo Bielsa feels secure in the knowledge that strength will continue to be shown amid adversity.

Last opponents Brighton may be in the Premier League’s top 10, but it did not stop some Albion fans booing their side after their eighth game without a league win in a 0-0 draw.

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That despite the fact that Brighton were dominant against Leeds, with their recent winless run also featuring just two losses.

Leeds United left-back, Junior Firpo Picture: Bruce Rollinson

It prompted Albion chief Graham Potter to express disappointment by that reaction and acerbically state that some supporters needed a ‘history lesson.’

In terms of the table, Leeds are in a more difficult moment, yet Bielsa can at least count on greater understanding as it stands.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s game with Crystal Palace, Bielsa, whose side have won just once in six league games, said: “I think that the natural feeling of the fan is to want to get what is in play.

“So when a team doesn’t get what the fans think their team is capable of, they manifest their dissatisfaction but I cannot talk about the reality of Brighton as I don’t know it and it does not correspond for me to analyse it.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa on the touchline at the American Express Community Stadium, Brighton. Picture: Adam Davy/PA

“I am just making a projection to the fan in general and that does not coincide with the attitude that the Leeds fans have towards us because in adversity is when they show most of their support and that is when they have the most comprehension.”

Saturday’s game proved a testing one for several Leeds players, including Junior Firpo, who was brought off at the interval.

The left-back’s form has been the subject of a fair amount of conjecture following his £13.5m summer arrival, but Bielsa feels that progress has been made.

The United head coach added: “Junior is a player that is growing as he puts minutes together.

“His performances had been improving until he had an interruption due to injury and now he is progressively recovering his best form as it happened at the beginning of the season.

“The last game was a difficult game for us down the right sector of the opponent, he suffered a caution early on and that conditions the player with the freedom that he has to go and win the ball.”