Marcelo Bielsa suggested that Leeds did not create enough chances in their loss to Cardiff, despite having three times as many shots as their opponents.
Promotion hunting Leeds got their campaign back underway in frustrating fashion. Goals from Junior Hoilett and Robert Glatzel saw Cardiff beat them 2-0, in a boost for the Bluebirds’ hopes of a play-off place.
Leeds had 15 shots compared to Cardiff’s five, but both sides only managed two on target. Both of those led to goals for Cardiff, but it was a more frustrating story for Leeds.
And Bielsa believed that his side should have carved out more opportunities for themselves, denying they did not have enough conviction.
“It was a good opportunity for us, we couldn’t take advantage. It was a strange match, not normal. They shot twice and scored twice. It’s not normal.
“Another thing we could have resolved. We lacked unbalanced situation in the middle of the pitch. We think, for all the possession and control we had, we could have created clearer chances. Quantity and quality.
“I don’t know if it’s a lack of conviction. What I think we should have created more chances.
“Maybe, the crosses inside and passes through lines in the middle, if more accurate passes, we could have increased more dangerous situations.
“We had a lot of crosses blocked. We gave passes through lines in the middle, but it wasn’t accurate. In the second half, set-pieces were less efficient than in the first.
“Physically, the team ran well. All the requirements were met, they overcame their challenges.
“In the first half, we attacked and defended well. Second half we attack in small-size spaces with forwards.
“Maybe we paid for the mistake we did. Concede two goals from two shots is a big average. Normally, with eight chances, you get goals.
“As long possession as we had, we could have created more chances than we did. Regarding the match, naturally, we would have won this match.
“We cannot imagine a game without mistakes. Sometimes it is difficult to avoid mistakes, but in this match we could not avoid the consequence of our mistakes. Usually, it is very difficult if you have two mistakes in 90 minutes and receive.”
The return to action saw teams allowed to field five substitutions, which Cardiff made full use of, while there were drinks breaks in either half. However, Bielsa denied that either were a factor in slowing his side down.
“We played few minutes in this match if you consider substitutions, interruptions with water and when the referee stopped for injured players. It is one match where we play few minutes.
That is like that.
“We should know and accept some, usually you play 60, 65 minutes, but in some matches you play fewer minutes than this. Even though we had conditions to win the match.
“If we didn’t win the match, it was not for the interruptions and the few minutes we play. There are other reasons.”
One such factor was when Patrick Bamford inadvertently blocked a shot from his own teammate Jack Harrison, denying Leeds the chance to equalise towards the end of the first half.
Bielsa admitted it was one of several frustrating moments for the Whites.
“Yes, we had circumstances in the match that wasn’t on our side. In the second half, when the opponent decreased the pace of their play, and our attack was easier.
“Talking about the first half, when they slowed down and we were attacking well, they scored. That made them have more strength to finish the first half.
“When we were in the last minutes of the first half, the situation you mention happened. That could have been important if we equalised.”
Leeds remain in the automatic promotion places, seven points clear of their next opponents, Fulham.