Ronaldo Vieira keen to put Leeds United’s needs first

Ronaldo Vieira. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Ronaldo Vieira. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
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Ronaldo Vieira plans to employ a “side before self” mantra under Marcelo Bielsa as he waits to see where he fits into the plans of Leeds United’s head coach.

Vieira said he was willing to take up any role in Bielsa’s team after featuring at centre-back on his first pre-season appearance at York City on Thursday night.

Everyone wants to be involved but we’re a team, you know? The message for this season is like side before self.

Ronaldo Vieira

The 20-year-old slotted into a makeshift back three alongside fellow midfielder Mateusz Klich and left-back Laurens De Bock – three experienced faces in a young Leeds line-up – and saw out 90 minutes of a 1-1 draw.

The majority of Bielsa’s senior players were taken to a friendly at Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday instead and the Argentinian is likely to field a stronger line-up against Southend United tomorrow.

Bielsa is known for using midfielders as defenders as a way of improving passing from the back and Kalvin Phillips spoke after Tuesday’s win over Forest Green about Bielsa’s attempts to remould him as a centre-back.

Vieira, who was recently linked with a move to Cardiff City – a rumour denied by Cardiff manager Neil Warnock – is looking for a big season having struggled last term to replicate an impressive first year as a professional at Elland Road.

“The target for me is to do my best and improve under the new manager,” said Vieira. “I want to help the team as much as I can, achieve what we want to achieve this season and maybe get a few goals.

“Everyone wants to be involved but we’re a team, you know? The message for this season is like side before self. I’ll play where he tells me to play and it’s the same with everyone else.

“We’ve been working on some of the midfielders dropping in deeper. It’s to try and play out a little bit better and we’re all trying to adapt to it. I’ll get some feedback from the manager and see what he says.

Vieira has been hampered for the past 12 months by tendonitis in one knee.