Bielsa ‘accepts’ VAR call as Leeds suffer Bamford blow and near useful transfer

Bielsa ‘accepts’ VAR call as Leeds suffer Bamford blow and near useful transfer

Marcelo Bielsa said he “prefers to accept” the officials’ decisions after a controversial VAR verdict cost Leeds United in the FA Cup.

The review system failed to identify what appeared to be a clear offside for West Ham’s opening goal. The Whites eventually lost 2-0 after being caught on the break very late on as they pushed for an equaliser.

Despite the call, Bielsa refused to blame the defeat on anything other than his side’s lack of impact in the match.

“I think it corresponded they won the game,” he said. “They created more danger than we did. They had balls with which to attack in worse situations than we did and created more danger than us.

“In the second half, there were things we improved. We pressed better. We played in their half more.

“In the end, we should have created more chances than the ones we did. It would have been possible to prevent a lot of the chances they did.

“It’s a decision I prefer to accept what the referees say, not because I haven’t created an opinion, but it’s a collaboration us managers should make, should accept their decisions even if they jeopardise us.

“If not, we enter a terrain where we can’t offer what we want to offer, which is good football.”

Manuel Lanzini scores for West Ham vs Leeds in the FA Cup, January 2022

Further Leeds injury woes

Bielsa handed debuts to Leo Hjelde and Lewis Bate. He rested some of his stars but was without a conventional striker.

He added: “Right now, we have nine players who cannot play. Through the situation we are going through it so happens there are always absentees in the same position.

“Bamford, [Joe] Gelhardt, Tyler [Roberts] and Rodrigo all missing.

“Bamford recovered from the injury vs Brentford and he was going to play again today, the starter at CF, and in the training, during the week he suffered an injury that is not identifiable.

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“It’s a knock underneath his hip and it’s still not clear what’s the reason behind it. The only thing for sure is it’s not muscular because his muscles are healthy.

“In the case of Gelhardt, a teammate fell on his ankle, and this generated an injury that will keep him out for three or four weeks.

“In the case of Rodrigo, he still has not been able to recover from his heel issue. Roberts, in the last game he picked up a knock to his calf.”

Leeds loan nears completion

Cody Drameh during the pre-season friendly between Leeds and Fleetwood, July 2021

Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has tweeted that Leeds youngster Cody Drameh is set to join Cardiff City on loan for the remainder of the season.

Drameh, 20, came off the bench during the cup tie at the London Stadium.

He has been involved with the first team this season after impressive for the youth side. But a loan spell in the Championship will offer him much-needed game time.

Swansea also enquired about the right-back but it is their rivals whom he will join next week.

Romano notes several Premier League clubs will be keeping a close eye on him for next season.

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