Marcelo Bielsa fighting for his job at Leeds United

Leeds United’s fight against Premier League relegation has made Marcelo Bielsa more, not less, hungry to manage them, the Argentinian coach insists.

The Whites play Brighton and Hove Albion this evening two points above the relegation zone.

Twelve games in is too early to panic but the 66-year-old described the threat of dropping into the bottom three as “the reality we have to face and the situation we need to avoid”.

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Rather than dull his enthusiasm, Bielsa says it is having “the total opposite” effect as he looks to repay the faith shown by the club and its supporters on the back of three seasons that have transformed the side.

Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa (Picture: Tony Johnson)

“I have to fight to deserve what Leeds have done for me due to what they pay me, due to the affection I receive, due to the construction of the project, whether that be the investment they’ve made in the facilities, or the footballers,” said Bielsa, who has been given huge scope at Elland Road and the Thorp Arch training complex.

“The least I can do is be grateful and be a fighter against adversity.”

Leeds, who will again be without injured stalwarts Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling, plus Robin Koch this evening, have won just two league matches this season, in both cases against sides (Watford and Norwich City) who soon sacked their managers. Raphinha and Rodrigo are expected to return after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

Bielsa says the onus is on him to get more out of the players he does have available to him against Graham Potter’s team.

“I think the club has put enough human resources at my disposal for the results to be different,” he acknowledged. “I can’t attribute the position in the table, nor the injuries, to having an insufficient amount of players. What is left is the management of the players I have.”