With Leeds United’s injury situation all year finally catching up with us – note to pundits, not fatigue – manager Marcelo Bielsa saw his first team side narrowly miss out on automatic promotion to the Premier League this year.
Our good form, across a good season, saw us clinch our Play-Off spot in the Championship ahead of the final weekend, and it’s now all eyes to the first leg Play-Off Semi-Final with Derby County.
Having beaten Frank Lampard’s side twice this season already in 4-1 and 2-0 victories, the mental advantage is ours and meeting with the media on Thursday afternoon, our Argentine gaffer was quoted by the Official Site as saying of the game.
“This event is a football episode which everyone will want to live. You have two prizes at the end, both semi-final games are going to be very attractive and the winner will play a final at Wembley, which will be a spectacle. The team that wins at Wembley will go up and get promoted and you can’t have a bigger goal than this. The motivation to face these challenges comes by itself and the preparation is a second aspect.”
Discussing his experience in finals across his career, Bielsa went on to promise that the side would be doing their all to make a good season great.
“We think about the responsibility we have on our shoulders because we are bearing the hope of many people. It is a big opportunity for us to fulfil this hope, for all of the fans. We are full of hope, we have the hope we will reach our goal, we are dreaming of this and when you feel like that, you feel safe. We don’t feel as winners before playing the game or losers before playing the game, what we value is the possibility to show what we deserve.”
The aim on Saturday will be to establish a comfortable first leg lead so make the return leg back at Elland Road a little more comfortable as football sort of dictates that if you face a side three times, one of the results will definitely go against you, so we want this to be as safe as can be now.