Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa again refuses to blame injuries for his side’s lowly league position

Marcelo Bielsa says injuries are not why Leeds United are not as high in the Premier League as they expect or deserve to be.

In a squad as low on senior players as the Whites, it takes fewer injuries to make a big impact and Leeds have had their fair share this season.

Bielsa, who will again be without Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford and Robin Koch at Brighton and Hove Albion tomorrow, refuses to use that as an excuse for being 17th in the Premier League.

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“The injuries are not one of the reasons why we are there and of course it worries me the position we occupy in the table,” said the Argentinian coach.

Getting better: Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa says the club's injury woes are easing - but aren't to blame for the Whites' struggles. Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

“I am in charge of a group of footballers that deserve to be in a higher position and the club has trusted in me.

“One of the aspects that shows this confidence is what they pay me and these results are not what is expected.

“(The threat of relegation) is the reality we have to face and the situation we need to avoid.

“The results up until now are those that position us in the table. After, there are the performances and what you deserve.

Almost there: Leeds defender Luke Ayling is on the brink of returning to action after an injury lay-off. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

The performances in the last period have been improving and allow us to think we should have a few more points.”

Ayling is set to step up his recovery from a knee problem by playing for the under-23s at Manchester City on Monday. He suffered the injury at Newcastle United in mid-September, when Bamford injured his ankle.

“He (Ayling) is healthy now, (Jamie) Shackleton is also healthy, Raphinha (who was ill last week) and Rodrigo are also available,” said Bielsa. “The ones finishing their periods of recovery are Koch and Bamford.

“Bamford has an injury in his ankle, it has been a serious injury and the evolution changes.

“Koch had to go for surgery and the terms of his recovery are what was expected. You can’t be absolutely precise.”

Crysencio Summerville did not miss last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium through injury, but others were preferred to fill a very inexperienced bench.

The injuries have even extended to those on loan with Ian Poveda suffering a fracture and a dislocation in his left ankle playing for Blackburn Rovers at Bristol City on Saturday.

“We have established a contact with him, all of the technical staff, to let him know about our sadness and how we will be close to him,” said Bielsa. “He is a young man with a lot of character and that is going to allow him to come back stronger than before.”