‘Norwich is a team that plays better than the points they have’ – Leeds boss Bielsa wary of Canaries
PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:00 23 August 2018
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa believes Norwich City are a better team than their early mid-table Championship position reflects.
The former Argentina and Chile manager brings his league-leading team to Carrow Road on Saturday after dropping their first points of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at Swansea on Tuesday.
Norwich sit 15th after a first win of the campaign on Wednesday, beating Preston 2-0 at home, having drawn one and lost two of their opening three games.
“Norwich is a team that plays better than the points they have,” the 63-year-old Argentinian said. “They won their first game and their enthusiasm will be very high.”
Leeds fell behind for the first time this season at Swansea and Bielsa reacted decisively, taking off already-booked holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the 28th minute and bringing on Chelsea loanee Lewis Baker.
Bielsa’s side were level five minutes before the break thanks to Kema Roofe’s fourth league goal of the season but needed former City loanee Patrick Bamford to come on and set up Pablo Hernandez for a 79th-minute equaliser.
“I’m very happy with the performance of Bamford’s last game. He had an impact on the game,” he said of the striker, who failed to score in seven Premier League games for Norwich during 2016.
“(Jack) Harrison had an impact, not as important as Bamford, and Baker too. These three players gave vigour to the team.”
The visitors will still be without centre-back Liam Cooper (hamstring) and midfielders Stuart Dallas (quad) and Adam Forshaw (toe) but Sweden international centre-back Pontus Jansson could make his return from a back problem.
“I don’t think I have to make changes (to the team) this Saturday, but I will next Tuesday,” Bielsa told Leeds Live, with a Carabao Cup second round home tie against Preston in mind.
“When we have a problem we always try to find a solution, when we make a mistake we try to do that.
“I can’t guarantee that the defensive problems won’t happen again, but when we are aware of a problem, we are in a better situation to resolve.”