Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa admits to watching Championship opponents' training sessions

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has admitted the Championship leaders have watched all their opponents train this season.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 5:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 6:29 pm
Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa shakes hands with Preston's backroom staff after the Championship game at Elland Road in September

Bielsa's side have played Preston North End twice this season - PNE won 2-0 at Elland Road in the Carabao Cup in August, Daniel Johnson and Brandon Barker on target.

In the league three weeks later at the same venue, Leeds ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

So it can be assumed from the Argentinian's admission that he sent a member of staff to watch North End go through their paces at Springfields.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Preston players celebrate Daniel Johnson's goal in the 2-0 win against Leeds in the Carabao Cup in August

Bielsa called a press conference on Wednesday teatime to explain his actions in light of the 'spygate' incident in which the West Yorkshire club were accused of watching a Derby training session ahead of last Friday's clash at Elland Road.

He made a power point presentation as part of his address to the assembled media.

The 63-year-old said last week that he was responsible for sending a member of club staff to watch Derby training and the Football Association and the English Football League have launched investigations into the accusations of 'spying'.

On Wednesday Bielsa faced the media at Leeds' training ground to discuss the matter in more detail.

PNE winger Brandon Barker is congratulated after scoring against Leeds in August

He said: "I'm going to make it easier for EFL investigation. I'm going to make it easier for them and I assume my behaviour is observed from the most extreme position.

"I observed all the rivals we played against. We watched all the training sessions before we played them.

"My goal is to make this easier for the investigation. By doing this I assume the possible sanctions by the authorities.

"I don't want to compare my situation with previous similar incidents."

Bielsa was adamant what he has done is not illegal.

"I don't want to make it easier for me by attacking others," he said.

"Regarding what I've done - it is not illegal. It's not specified, described or restrained.

"It's not seen as a good thing, but it is not a violation of the law. Although not illegal it's not necessarily the right thing to do.

"The wrong things you do are not done with bad intention or an intention to cheat.

"If you observe something without authorisation we call it spying. I'm going to try and explain I did not have bad intentions.

"I did not try to get an unfair sporting advantage.

"But I did it because it was not illegal or violating specific laws."