Marcelo Bielsa wants Leeds to earn promotion not be handed it by curtailment


If the Championship season had been cut short Leeds would have been promoted on a points-per-game basis.

Ending the Championship season on a points-per-game basis was not something Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was interested in.

The second-tier leaders return to action at Cardiff on Sunday, three and a half months on from their last outing on March 7 and nine games away from the top flight.

Had the season been curtailed and points-per-game been implemented, Leeds’ 16-year-wait for a Premier League return would have been over without a ball being kicked.

Bielsa is waiting for football's return
Bielsa is waiting for football’s return (Richard Sellers/PA)

But the club was adamant they wanted to play on and, after returning to media duties on Thursday, Bielsa said he was too.

“If we get something without playing… that was not something I wished,” he said.

Football will return in Wales, as in England, without fans, and Bielsa added: “We know public health is above the rest of things, football is secondary if we compare with public health. We have to say the communication between the players and supporters makes football. Without this relationship, football is different.

“What is important is the mental adaptation of the players to the new situation. The presence of the supporters is something very important but this is for football in general and every team. Everyone in the Championship has to adapt.”

Pablo Hernandez will not face Cardiff
Pablo Hernandez will not face Cardiff (PA)

Bielsa had his players on punishing workout plans at home during the lockdown, but will go to Cardiff without influential playmaker Pablo Hernandez.

Striker Jean-Kevin Augustin, still to make his mark since a January loan move, has been working alone since the players returned, the coach added.

“We found that our players did some serious work and I admire them,” he said. “After we had training individually, the full group training together. All the problems we had have been resolved for us.”