Derby County manager Phillip Cocu told RamsTV that Leeds United’s style of play reflects their manager Marcelo Bielsa’s philosophy as he previews the upcoming clash.
The Rams travel to Leeds on Saturday in what should be an exciting game.
The Whites will be out for revenge following Derby’s Championship playoff victory in May. The Rams ran out 4-2 winners at Elland Road despite trailing 2-0 on aggregate.
But this season it’s all change. Derby have struggled for results, while Leeds top the league with Cocu believing his opponents have benefited from Bielsa’s influence.
He is a manager with a lot of experience. They have worked on his philosophy. They are good on the ball, play with high energy so the style of the manager can be seen in the team. You can see why they are doing well this season.
How Leeds United have benfitted from Marcelo Bielsa’s influence:
Everybody recognises how Leeds play under Bielsa. Their pressing and fitness levels are highly impressive, while the Yorkshire club like to dominate the ball.
According to Whoscored, Leeds average 18.1 shots and 61.5% possession per game. They lead the way in both statistics, while only Hull City have posted more tackles.
But there are many factors behind the current Leeds success. Bielsa inherited a strong group, but with time and good recruitment they have reached an entirely new level.
Barry Douglas, Patrick Bamford, Kiko Casilla, Jack Harrison, Ben White, Helder Costa and Eddie Nketiah are all signings under Bielsa which have improved Leeds.
Cocu, meanwhile, arrived at Derby in July and barely had a pre-season to work with his players. Moreover, recruitment was almost non-existent aside from Krystian Bielik’s arrival.
One win in seven Championship games has been the result.
A lack of fitness, time and most importantly quality recruits have prompted Derby’s early struggles. Cocu’s praise of Bielsa and Leeds reads as a message for patience at Pride Park.