Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa takes blame for Norwich City defeat

Marcelo Bielsa: Testing times.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Marcelo Bielsa: Testing times. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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LEEDS UNITED head coach Marcelo Bielsa admits that the buck stops with him after taking responsibility for the Whites’ worrying sequence of four losses in their past six Championship matches.

Weekend opponents Norwich City jumped above Leeds into top spot on goal difference following an impressive 3-1 victory at Elland Road, an occasion which saw the hosts produce an error-ridden, unconvincing performance.

Leeds hold just a three-point advantage over third-placed Sheffield United – who beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 on Saturday – with a third of the season still remaining.

Norwich, whose sole away league defeat this season arrived at Bramall Lane on August 18, were full value for the three points, with Bielsa admitting that his side must remedy issues at both ends of the pitch.

Leeds have kept just one clean sheet in their past eight league matches, conceding 17 goals in the process.

Further forward, the Whites’ ratio of goals to chances created is also causing concern to Bielsa, whose side visit fifth-placed Middlesbrough on Saturday.

In everything that happens to the team, the head coach is responsible. All the negative things that happen to the team are the responsibility of the head coach.

Marcelo Bielsa

On his side’s recent form, the Argentine, candid in his assessment of his side’s recent shortcomings, acknowledged: “If we take into account the fact that we were leading the Championship, to lose four games out of six, it is something that we cannot ignore.

“In everything that happens to the team, the head coach is responsible. All the negative things that happen to the team are the responsibility of the head coach.

“We have good players and we have skilful players – and I have to find the right combinations in order to find the good way to attack.

“As you can see in the last games, I have not made the right choice because many players play in the offensive positions and in spite of the different combinations, we still have the same problems. We need many chances to score a goal.

“So this is the responsibility of the head coach, not of the players. It is the same thing regarding the defensive strength that we have lost.

“In order to defend well, we have to combine safe recovery of the ball and then make the link between the defence and the attack without risking any dangerous loss.

“In an important segment of this competition, we recovered the ball well and could play out well, too. We have lost this feature and I think I am deeply responsible for it.”

Of major concern to Bielsa is Leeds’s current goals to chances ratio, which he has revealed is at a worst level than bottom club Ipswich Town.

He added: “In every game we have difficulties to score goals.

“The fact that we usually create many chances and we score few goals (means) our average regarding the chances we have to score and actually the number of goals we score is worse than the teams who occupy the bottom of the table.

“The leading teams need two or three chances to score one goal. The team at the bottom of the table usually needs four chances to score one goal.

“For us, we need five chances to score one goal so it is worse than the teams at the bottom of the table. But we were strong because we had a good defensive side, but we have lost that.

“We make avoidable mistakes and usually the consequences of these mistakes are goals.”