HEAD COACH Marcelo Bielsa insists there will only be a ‘Plan A’ at Leeds United after revealing he still regrets lying to Hernan Crespo in an attempt to boost the striker’s confidence early in his career.
Bielsa takes his side to Norwich City tomorrow sitting on top of the Championship with ten points from four games.
United twice came from behind in midweek at Swansea City to earn a 2-2 draw that saw Bielsa stick rigidly to the style of play he worked tirelessly to instil in his new charges over the summer.
“The idea to have alternative plans – which is considered a virtue – I don’t really share this point of view,” Bielsa said when asked about a possible ‘Plan B’ should a game such as the one at Swansea be going against Leeds in the future.
“Our goal is to do better, not to stop doing what we are doing or change the style. What I cannot do is change because my job is to try and convince the players what produces triumph and good results.
“In order to convince people I have to believe in what I am saying because the footballer only believes something that he truly believes in. When the footballer finds out that the head coach was trying to convince him, but doesn’t share that point of view, he abandons you.”
Our goal is to do better, not to stop doing what we are doing or change the style. What I cannot do is change because my job is to try and convince the players what produces triumph and good results.Marcelo Bielsa
To illustrate his point Bielsa recalled his handling of Crespo early in a career that would take the Argentinian striker to three Serie A titles and a Premier League success with Chelsea.
The Leeds chief once told Crespo he had become a mature player when at that point it was not the case.
He added: “It is the kind of mistake you don’t forgive yourself for. I was trying to strengthen his self-esteem, giving him a skill that actually I didn’t think he had. After some time, I told him, ‘Now you are really a mature player, not the same as before’.
“What did he think? He thought, ‘How come before you told me I was a better player? You lied to me. Before you told me I was a strong player, but you didn’t believe it’. I am right not to forgive myself.
“I tell you this not to tell you a story, but my goal is to publicly apologise to Crespo because I know I didn’t tell him the truth. It was a lesson forever.
“If you lie to your son now in order that he gets something from artificial strength you will resolve the problem for only that day.
“Instead of strengthening him you will have weakened him.”