Marcelo Bielsa bristles at the suggestion Leeds United are running out of steam

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match at Loftus Road, London. (Picture:PA)
Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match at Loftus Road, London. (Picture:PA)
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A disappointed Marcelo Bielsa was left deep in thought but hit back at questions about Leeds United’s ability to last the pace after the club passed up a chance to reclaim first place in the Championship.

The Argentinian cut a demoralised figure at the end of a 1-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers, a result which denied United a return to the top of their division.

Victory in a valuable game in hand would have moved Leeds above Norwich City and Sheffield United but Luke Freeman’s 49th-minute winner piled the pressure on Friday’s clash with fourth-placed West Bromwich Albion.

Bielsa bemoaned Leeds’ failure to capitalise on a strong first half and said the temporary loss of captain Liam Cooper to a badly cut eye before the interval disrupted their flow.

The 63-year-old was frustrated by a question about whether his players might be running out of energy, saying: “Your question doesn’t have any basis because if you watched the game, what you can say is that this team has too much energy. You’re asking me if the team lost energy but what our team has shown in every game is that we have an excess of energy.

“It’s clear that you don’t know what you’re talking about because if there’s something this team doesn’t lack, it’s energy. We have other problems like all of the teams. It’s not an opinion because you just have to look at the figures to draw your own conclusions.”

Cooper required stitches in a gash above his left eye and was missing from the field for around six minutes, leaving United to fend with 10 men before the break.

He was back on the field, however, when Freeman changed the course of the night with a clever flick to finish off a cross from the ring wing.

“We didn’t take advantage of the first half,” Bielsa said. “In our best moment we had Liam Cooper off so we couldn’t dominate as we had been doing.

“In the first five minutes they (QPR) had five good minutes with energy and it was the same situation at the beginning of the second half. They scored the goal and from that moment on the game changed. It was not as natural as it was before.”

Asked how frustrated he was, Bielsa said: “The response is included in the question. I can’t say anything else. You know that this result is frustrating. We can’t hide the points we lost here.”