Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa on his decision to bring on Tyler Roberts before Joe Gelhardt

LEEDS UNITED head coach Marcelo Bielsa has explained the reasoning behind his decision to bring on Tyler Roberts ahead of Joe Gelhardt in his side's painful loss to relegation-haunted Newcastle United at Elland Road.

With the game deadlocked at 0-0 and Leeds requiring some inspiration to break down the Magpies, Bielsa opted to bring on Roberts ahead of Gelhardt - to the surprise of many among the big home crowd.

Unfortunately, Roberts' main intervention was losing the ball in the build-up that led to the only goal of the game 15 minutes from time from Jonjo Shelvey.

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Home keeper Illan Meslier was badly at fault, in failing to keep out the low shot from the midfielder in the game-breaking moment of the contest.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa shows his frustration on a testing afternoon against Newcastle. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Gelhardt, who has produced some dazzling cameos from the bench, was later introduced, but Leeds could not threaten Newcastle, who went close to a second goal through Joseph Willock.

Bielsa said: "I thought of Gelhardt and Tyler to do the role of (Dan) James or Rodrigo, but Rodrigo only lost importance towards the end of the game.

"Given that James was on a caution, I thought Tyler was the first step to unbalance the game and that's how I did it. And whilst (Mateusz) Klich was playing well I preferred to have three players who could score.

"And because Joffy (Gelhardt) can nick a goal and Tyler and Rodrigo also have characteristics of a number nine, football has those things, we created more chances when we had Klich and James than when Tyler and Gelhardt came on."

On the defeat, which saw Leeds badly miss the presence of a conventional centre-forward, Bielsa added: "It was very frustrating. It was a game to show our differences, to have some consistency and it was a very important opportunity we couldn't take advantage of.

"We had many moments to unbalance the game. We could unbalance them a lot, but we couldn't convert.

"Normally, in the games where you could score and you don't, some detail unbalances the game against you. I have the sensation that's what happened.

"Even if in the last 15 minutes we failed to create enough danger, prior to that in the rest of the game we had done enough to be ahead."