Team news - Rodrigo and Phillips
Phillips: yes. Moreno: yes. Llorente: not yet. Shackleton: not yet. We add Pablo to the injury list as he picked up a muscular injury during this break. Nothing serious, but he won’t be able to play this weekend.
Llorente a growing concern?
What happened with Llorente was he was injured, recovered and had a relapse in training. He is now cured, but because of the relapse he is being given extra time to fully get back to be sure.
Struijk new deal - where is he strongest?
I think his normal position of left centre-back is best suited to his characteristics, but a left centre-back, a lot of time, becomes a left full-back and a lot of times he also has to play as a defensive midfielder. He can also play in these two positions.
Does dementia threat concern you? Duty of care?
The ones that have to legislate for this are the authorities. If the science shows there needs to be a change then the authorities need to make this change because it can’t be up to the coaches. How is it possible a coach is to resolve this issue of dementia by heading the ball?
How has your team adapted to the PL?
It’s too few games to say how we have adapted to the Premier League.
Arsenal and Arteta’s job?
Arsenal is one of the best teams in the league. They have players of hierarchy in all of their lines. They have a manager who proposes a style which distinguishes the team. He’s a coach who, once he has his team playing how he projects. Tactically, if you watch Arsenal closely they show things which I haven’t seen in any other team.
Lampard described management as all-consuming - 50 problems a day - how do you see it? Advice for young coaches starting now?
I agree with the analysis Lampard makes. I never like to give advice.
Most important trait in leadership and management?
The most important thing is to convince without betraying, lying to the player. You can convince a player by lying to him, but that doesn’t last for long. If you convince without lying, that is something great managers are able to do.
How beneficial has the break been?
The international break does not allow for the evolution of the team. It’s difficult to balance the training with the realities of everyone. The players who stay at Leeds can rest more. Those with their national teams have less time to do so. The collective work is impossible to do as not everyone is here. We have looked to correct individual errors. We have incorporated young players to work with the first team.
Phillips boost - how has he changed since you arrived?
Phillips is a player who usually plays. The players who play regularly are important to count on. The evolution of Phillips is a constant one, not due to what I’m proposing, but because he has a lot of capacity to analyse and criticise himself. He finds what he needs to improve and correct in his game.
Phillips fit enough to start?
It’s probable. I can’t guarantee it, but it’s probable.
Less likely he will start, but he will be there.
No, I think not. If they did, I’m not aware of it, but I’m pretty sure he hasn’t.
What does Phillips bring having missed him?
Without Phillips we played our best game since I’ve been manager, but in the same manner Phillips brings something we miss. Capacity to recover the ball. A midfielder able to find passes not normal for someone. To give an example, it’s difficult to find a defensive midfielder like Phillips who gave that pass to Harrison at Liverpool. That kind of pass, an offensive midfielder is more likely to give. Hard to find a defensive midfielder who can do that.
Soft spot for Phillips?
The manager administers the wishes of 20 players. Therefore, it’s hard for a manager to be close to his players. I would love to be closer to the players. If I get closer to them I won’t be able to take impartial decisions.
Have you looked back at January’s match against Arsenal? What have you learned?
In that game we played well in the first half and not in the second half. The improvement of Arsenal in the second half neutralised all of the good things we did in the first-half.
But the game that is being played on Sunday is not comparable to the game we play on Sunday.