Marcelo Bielsa will not change his style

Mark Walker, PA
·2-min read

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa said he would rather finish in the bottom half of the Premier League than compromise his style to be in the top 10.

Bielsa’s side can climb into the top half with victory against Crystal Palace at Elland Road on Monday night.

But the Argentinian has always put performances ahead of results and sees no reason to change in Leeds’ first season back in the top flight in 16 years.

“The most important thing is how we play, which allows us to finish where (we end up) in the table,” he said.

“If you finish eighth by not playing well, for me that’s worse than finishing 12th and playing well.

“But it’s also true by playing well it’s easier to finish higher up the table. I hope we are able to play well and advance up the table.”

Leeds have been widely regarded as one of the Premier League’s most entertaining sides this season, but the 65-year-old accepts he and his side will always be open to criticism.

“Almost everyone finds us entertaining,” he said. “There’s those who find it entertaining to face a side who concede as many as we do.

“Like all the other teams we choose to play in a certain style because we think it’s what’s going to bring us closer to winning.

Leicester City v Leeds United – Premier League – King Power Stadium
Marcelo Bielsa isl not about to change his football philosophy (Rui Vieira/PA)

“If you take into account the form, the style, it brings you closer to the aspects that are most beautiful about the game, but the efficiency is the value we most look for.”

Bielsa refused to offer his verdict on how he thinks his side have fared during the first half of the season.

Leeds sit comfortably in mid-table after winning nine of their 21 Premier League matches.

“The most important thing is how the team plays throughout the competition and I prefer to give an opinion at the end of the season,” he added.

Leicester City v Leeds United – Premier League – King Power Stadium
There have been plenty of happy moments for a Leeds side who are in the top half of the Premier League, following promotion last year (Tim Keeton/PA)

“I have observed with a lot of frequency that when you evaluate the past for a prediction on the future, you get it wrong.

“This is logical because football is the biggest sport in the world because it’s very unpredictable.”

Leeds will be without Rodrigo again on Monday, with Bielsa confirming it could be several weeks before the Spain forward recovers from a muscle injury.

Winger Ian Poveda (ankle) is also set for a similar spell on the sidelines, while Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury.