Leeds boss Bielsa looks to cash in on Norwich slip up against Reading
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Marcelo Bielsa insists Leeds United can take heart from Norwich City’s stoppage time setback against Reading as the Championship promotion race hots up.
Bielsa’s second-placed Whites face a huge Yorkshire derby on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday, after moving ahead of Sheffield United in midweek with a 2-0 away win at Preston in the battle for automatic promotion to the Premier League.
Leeds can cut the gap to Norwich to just three points, ahead of the Canaries’ own Sunday lunchtime date at Wigan, after City were denied a ninth consecutive Championship win by the Royals’ 97th minute equaliser in an epic finish at Carrow Road.
“In football anything can happen in one game, the game that Norwich played on Wednesday is a summary of this,” said the Argentine. “The results of our opponents make us play with more responsibilities, but despite any result they can get, we have to win our games.
“For us to play the games with the obligation to win is something that is not new for us.
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“I don’t remember one game this season where we haven’t played to win the game.
“It is no good to make any analysis until this objective is complete, the only important thing is if we get promotion.”
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Bielsa has issued a challenge to his side, but is under no illusions at the scale of the task against Steve Bruce’s Owls.
“From the change of the coach, Sheffield Wednesday have taken good results, they use less players and they keep to their style of play during the games,” said Bielsa, at his pre-match press conference.
“For us we have to win the five games left. When you have less points to win because you are in the last games of the league, the gap or space for mistakes is reduced.”
City old boy Bruce knows it will be a spicy atmosphere at Elland Road.
“Whenever you go to Elland Road you know it is going to be a hostile that’s for sure,” he said, with the Owls heading to Carrow Road on Good Friday. “Live on television, full house - it will hopefully be a wonderful spectacle.
“It’s pretty easy for us because we are still in with a squeak (of the play-offs) and we have got try and get a result to see what next week brings.
“Can we try and take it to the Easter weekend? Then it’s back-to-back games and believe me in this league it’s quite easy to lose a couple of games over the course of a weekend.
“So we have got to see what we can do. It is going to be very difficult against a Leeds team that have been excellent this season, we have got to look after ourselves - that will be my message.
“Let’s focus on ourselves and not worry about anyone else.”