Leeds United's Robin Koch controversy: Marcelo Bielsa launches passionate defence of 'over-dramatised' incident

Marcelo Bielsa says Robin Koch's head injury against Manchester United has been "over-dramatised", and insists Leeds United did nothing wrong in allowing him to continue playing for a quarter of an hour before he was withdrawn showing symptoms of concussion.

The injury will keep Koch out of Wednesday's Premier League game against Liverpool, with the Football Association' s graduated return to play protocols stating that players must rest for 14 days after a concussion.

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But Bielsa is angry that his club have been portrayed as being in the wrong over the incident.

CONTROVERSY: Leeds United's medical staff treat Robin Koch during the game against Manchester United

Koch suffered a clash of heads with Scott McTominay in the 12th minute of the game which opened a deep gash over his left eye. The Leeds medical team spent four minutes with the player bandaging the wound and assessing that the was no suspicion of concussion.

Under football's protocols, any suspicion of concussion means players have to be withdrawn from the game and not play or train again that day, despite Bielsa describing the German's condition as "perfect" on Tuesday morning.

In the 28th minute of the 4-2 defeat, Koch sat down on the pitch, as Leeds medical staff told him to if he started feeling any symptoms of concussion. He was replaced by Junior Firpo, who was not classed as a concussion substitute.

Concussion campaigners and he players' union, the Professional Footballers' Association, have criticised the decision to allow Koch to play on for that extra time, claiming Leeds did not stick to the "If in doubt, sit it out" advice given to clubs, players, physios and managers.

Second impact syndrome, where a player suffers a second concussion before recovered from the first, is rare but fatal.

Asked about the incident before the Premier League game with Liverpool, Bielsa angrily denied that.

"Koch clashes and he gets a cut blood starts coming out from," he explained. "He continues in the game after the evaluation the doctors had. He continued to play because the only problem he had was a cut to his head. That was not the case. After five minutes with the player, the medical staff would have substituted him.

"The consequences of the clash was more than just a clash of heads and the cut that was produced.

"So the first conclusion after five minutes with the player was that he could continue playing because he only had a cut and that the issue was resolved.

"During the time he continued to play he acted perfectly. There was no indicator. I looked over the sequences and there was no reason to believe he had any limitation.

"At a given moment he sits down, the medics come on and he indicates he has symptoms he didn't have when the medics (first) come on. At that moment, as it couldn't have been any other way because the symptoms were delayed.

"As you should know, the symptoms of a clash like this have 24 hours to play out so in the solution of the subject, we all did exactly what corresponded. We did nothing different to the protocol."

The issue has become a contentious one because of the number of former players - including, at Leeds, the likes of John Charles, Frank Worthington, Gordon McQueen and Brendan Ormsby - diagnosed with or dying of dementia. This month The Yorkshire Post dedicated a podcast to it.

Leeds support the calls by the PFA for temporary concussion substitutes to make assessment easier.

Bielsa accepts it is an important matter, but feels this case has been over-blown.

"The prevention of the knocks to the heads of players is very serious, very important, it can generate real dramas but it's also true that you shouldn't dramatise situations that don't deserve to be interpreted in the way this situation has been," he said.

Koch is Leeds's only fresh absentee for the trip to Liverpool, with no players expected back from injury.