Leeds United boss Bielsa believes too many options can cause problems

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa says 'physical performance also has to do with the mind' (Picture: Tony Johnson).
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa says 'physical performance also has to do with the mind' (Picture: Tony Johnson).
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head coach Marcelo Bielsa insists his Leeds United side can last the pace in this season’s Championship.

The Elland Road club raised more than a few eyebrows around the country with a scintillating opening-weekend win over Stoke City.

United’s high energy levels caught the eye along with the high pressing game that Bielsa has employed throughout his career.

Maintaining that standard is now the challenge with many pundits questioning whether fatigue could be a problem for a squad that is smaller than many in the second tier.

“I think it won’t be a problem, but some people could see a different perspective from mine,” said Bielsa when asked about possible fatigue.

“Experience and knowledge of the Championship has to be taken into consideration.

“I suppose you ask this question because you know the Championship competition.

“I think that 50 games in ten months is not a figure that 18 or 20 players can’t reach. It is doable.

“But I would like to express this precise point. You know that physical performance also has to do with the mind.

“When you have many possibilities to play regularly, it gives you a better state of mind.

“When you have more than 20 players then in some positions you have more than two (options), sometimes three.

“Having three options for one position can diminish the enthusiasm.

“Of a group of 22 players I like 18 players at the same level. I also like to have four youngsters who can improve to become players in the first team. To be young it isn’t an obstacle to be a starter.”

As Leeds prepare to tackle another strongly fancied side tomorrow in Derby County, Bielsa added: “Everyone knows that English football has a special characteristic of intensity.

“It is an aspect that everyone recognises in English football, especially people who don’t live in England.

“I don’t think it should be difficult to do something English football does naturally. We can talk about styles, but making many passes is not something very new.

“Trying to get the ball back is something very important during a game. I don’t think that what we propose is new.”