Players deserve to have final game in front of fans – Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Marcelo Bielsa believes it will be a fitting end to a memorable season for Leeds to play their final match in front of their own fans.

Leeds, assured of a top-10 finish in their first Premier League campaign in 16 years, play relegated West Brom at home on Sunday, with 9,500 in attendance.

It will be the first time supporters are allowed back through the Elland Road turnstiles since March 2020 when Bielsa’s side beat Huddersfield 2-0 in the Sky Bet Championship.

Leeds fans will return to Elland Road for the first time since March 2020
Leeds fans will return to Elland Road for the first time since March 2020 (Nick Potts/PA)

“It’s a homage that they (the players) totally deserve and it’s something that ‘by chance’ they are able to play in front of the fans in the last game of the season,” Bielsa said.

“It is very good luck that it is this way because it wouldn’t have been fair if they weren’t able to live that moment.”

It will be an emotional occasion for many supporters lucky enough to get their hands on a ticket.

Leeds have surpassed all expectation this season – they could finish eighth – and a generation of fans have never been to Elland Road to watch them play in a Premier League game.

Marcelo Bielsa will complete his third season as Leeds' head coach
Marcelo Bielsa will complete his third season as Leeds’ head coach (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

“I think that the achievements of the team has an objective – the happiness of the fans,” Bielsa said.

“Other teams also, but Leeds especially, the public is something that helps to get the achievement, so it is a good opportunity for us, that is linked to the energy that originates from the fans, especially in the difficulties.

“The supporters of Leeds make themselves present and they add something to help the team. I say what I think, even if it sounds demagogy.”

Bielsa, set to complete a third season at Elland Road on a year-to-year contract, has yet to confirm he will definitely stay as head coach for a fourth.

He said on Friday that he has held talks with the club’s hierarchy over his future and insisted he was not considering any other options.

The 65-year-old Argentinian added: “The structure of this organisation, this team, is a place of work where any manager would like to be. Even the best managers in the world.

“That’s to say, this place in Leeds United that they represent in football, is a place very desired. And I share the idea that Leeds United is a lot more important than I am.

“The authorities of this club, referring to the president (Andrea Radrizzani), the sporting director (Victor Orta) and the general director (Angus Kinnear), they have created a structure that has very few weak spots. Apart from that it has a particularity that makes it singular.”