Marcelo Bielsa has appealed for calm among supporters ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Leeds amid the fallout from the collapsed European Super League.
The proposed breakaway competition sparked protests outside Premier League grounds in midweek, including ahead of Leeds’ 1-1 home draw against Liverpool on Monday.
United, along with the other five Premier League clubs in England, withdrew from the ESL on Tuesday after the near-unanimous criticism at the proposal, which featured 12 leading European sides.
“I always hope that there is calmness and in this case now singling out the players I don’t think is adequate and I think that this subject has already been consumed,” Bielsa said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.
“In football and in a classic game like this there is a grade of excitement that is absolutely enough. And the most clear demand from this episode is to put the focus on the competition.”
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Leeds have not faced long-time rivals Manchester United at Elland Road in a top-flight match in 18 years, ahead of Sunday’s match, live on Sky Sports.
Bielsa, who has managed across Europe in Spain, France and Italy, is fully aware of the history behind the fixture as his side bid to maintain their unbeaten home record against the ‘big six’ this season.
Asked what it would mean for Leeds fans to watch their side win, Bielsa added: “I know perfectly what it means to play in a classic game, it is something that has to have built up for many years to lay in the feelings of the fans and I know the effect that the result will have on the emotion of the people.”
Leeds, who sit 10th in the table ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, were beaten 6-2 in the reserve league fixture at Old Trafford in December.
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