Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa talks Preston North End tactics

Marcelo Bielsa acknowledged the tactical approach that Preston North End took against his side, in limiting the way Leeds United were able to play out from the back.

Saturday, 28th December 2019, 6:00 am
Leeds United boss shakes hands with his Preston North End counterpart Alex Neil before the 1-1 draw at Elland Road.

The Argentinian was analytical in his look back on the 1-1 draw, where Alan Browne opened the scoring before Stuart Dallas equalised with just minutes to go.

North End set up in a similar way to the home game against Leeds, using 'running 10s' in Alan Browne and Brad Potts, though Browne could also be seen as playing as an eight.

In the opneing of the game Presotn controlled proceedings and pressed from very high, something which Bielsa noted.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Brad Potts carries the ball forward for PNE.

He said: "When we move the ball from one side to another trying to find one straight pass through lines.

"The normal thing when you lose the ball is when you give a straight pass through lines, this is complicated but we lost the ball when we tried to move the ball from side to side, this is more dangerous.

"We can explain what has happened, why it happened, I couldn't say.

"Of course you can avoid this, with accuracy or you can not use this resource.

"This resource for us is key, for this we could play one hour in attack, putting the ball in the opponents' half and creating danger.

"All the Preston strategy, honestly I saw a Preston strategy in a good way, they work on it for sure.

"They were trying to avoid us building the play from the back. This strategy worked for 20 minutes and after it didn't work any more.

"It is not a critic, it is a good thing they do, I recognise Preston. But also I value what Leeds did as well."

North End's counter attacking goal came in the 22nd minute, but the Leeds boss felt his side had the better of the game from that point.

The hosts weren't without their opportunities, Egzijan Alioski hitting the post as well as hitting over with a relatively open goal begging.

Bielsa felt that PNE caught his side out, but his alterations changed the tide of the game into United's favour.

"Preston controlled the match in the first 20 minutes," the 64-year-old explained.

"From there, the rest of the match, the other 75 minutes it was Leeds who controlled it.

"We should have levelled the match earlier. Even when we levelled, we could have scored one more goal after, we had another chance.

"We have to make a difference between the first 20 minutes and the other 75.

"The Preston chances had two characteristics.

"The first four chances before they scored, they were linked with our mistakes in playing out. It is fair to recognise that they forced our mistakes.

"But we could have avoided them. The Preston goal was special because it was the first time in those 20 minutes where they built a very dangerous chance.

"But we couldn't finish this chance. That was the first time that we broke the pressure of Preston.

"We had superiority in attack and we lost the ball in this situation in an unexpected way. What was dangerous for them became a goal against us.

"When we gave the first step to try to begin to control the match, what we didn't expect then happened. But from then the team was the same as always."