Leeds United boss warns against focusing on Sheffield United promotion clash
PUBLISHED: 15:18 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:18 11 March 2019
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa has warned his players not to look beyond their Championship clash against Reading on Tuesday evening.
The Whites have the chance to leapfrog Norwich City for 24 hours at least when they head to the Madejski Stadium to face the Royals, who will be without Canaries loanee Nelson Oliveira due to a hamstring injury.
But Bielsa, whose side face automatic promotion rivals Sheffield United this weekend, has told his squad they can’t allow any complacency to creep into their game.
“The points from tomorrow’s game are very important for us,” said the Argentinian. “You never start playing a game before finishing the previous one.
“And you know as observers when you look ahead towards the next game, you never have positive consequences.”
Bielsa reserved special praise for skipper Liam Cooper, who helped preside over a clean sheet during Leeds’ 1-0 win at Bristol City on Saturday.
“The fact he represents his team-mates is a strength,” he said.
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“I can’t describe the qualities the players saw in him when they chose him, but I can tell you what impresses me.
“You can’t find a better professional than him. He’s generous and prioritises the needs of his team-mates before his own. He’s always willing to help others rather than asking for help.
“He’s always there when needed in times of adversity and is very humble when the team is successful.”
Third-placed Sheffield United entertain Brentford and manager Chris Wilder has emphasised to his side what a huge week this could be in their season.
“We’ve got to get to the international break, get through this big week, then take a deep breath and steam into the last eight games,” said Wilder. “The Championship can hurt you. Everybody looks at Leeds, but it won’t matter if we don’t get Tuesday right. It’s about getting through the race and the three who go up will be the three best equipped. We only look at ourselves, it’s only natural people talk about putting pressure on others. “But we just try to prepare as best we can and then move on. That’s how it will be. If we’re in and amongst it with three or four games to go then great.”