Team news first - Phillips?
He’s not available for tomorrow’s game. Rodrigo also.
But Llorente is back. Berardi is evolving, the same as Poveda. Forshaw is in a process which is a lot slower.
What are Rodrigo and Kalvin’s problems?
I’ve been saying it since the day they’ve been injured, but I’ll say it again.
Rodrigo slipped in the game against Leicester and his legs separated a big width apart and he has a small problem in the inside of his groin.
Kalvin has a muscular problem in his calf.
Kalvin’s role - what do you say to Shackleton or whoever replaces him to try and make it seamless?
In common with the absence of Kalvin, we’re also missing Llorente and Koch. Both of them have history of playing in Phillips’ position.
Koch not too long ago was a starter for his country in this position. But we had Phillips with this problem, plus Koch and Llorente’s problems.
The absences of Llorente and Koch forced us to play Pascal at CB and Jamie and Klich took up the role of the number 4 together with their own characteristics.
Southampton - have you seen anything different from them during their poor run?
Every team has a bunch of negative results. The only teams that don’t have this problem are the ones at the top of the table. The teams in the middle of the table have not as big squads. When they are missing four or five players like everyone else they have to opt for youngsters to make substitutions during games.
And this presents a different reality. That’s why the teams who are not in the biggest clubs, they need to go and prove in their squads over a period of a few years.
It’s clear that to be able to shine in the PL you need at least 18 players who can be starters.
Efficiency was an issue last time - but overall is there anywhere else you want to see improve from your team tomorrow?
In the last game we created danger. A big part of the danger we created came from set-pieces. When you play against teams like Wolves it’s difficult to counter because they don’t attack with too many players.
They are very cautious when managing the ball in their own half. So in the offensive part of the game where we need to elaborate and create chances, it’s very necessary. Perhaps in this game what we needed was to create more chances in this manner, combination play in attack.
VAR - do you think in the close season experienced coaches should sit with law-makers and decided how it should be modified?
I think that there’s no-one better than the referees to decide how the rules are managed. The ones that lose or win, the referees don’t lose or win. We’re very conditioned to see if the failings are in our favour or against us to have an opinion over the modification of the rules.
There is offsides decided by centimetres and of course it’s difficult to evaluate the technology. FOr us to decide at what moment you stop the frame when a pass is made. If it’s before or after or in the exact moment it can be the difference between a player being in front in an offside position. If you look at the frame before, it’s not offside, if you look one frame after, it is offside.
So you can also say whey don’t you measure the distance between the ball and the foot to see if there’s any space between. But there are tensions that mean this attitude is impossible to achieve.
I think the refs and whoever will find the necessary solutions for the whole. Apart from that, I include myself, we speculate a lot and we don’t have enough. When do you kick the ball out, when do you not. If we use a hit to the head, if we’re hurt or not, do we use it to waste time? In the same way that there are some better refs and some not as good. So as an observer you have to look at the natural behavior of humans.
Radrizzani wants you to say - does that encourage you to make an earlier decision this year?
I need to give you a complete response so we don’t have to talk about this subject too much.
I don’t imagine for my professional future.
Nothing better than what Leeds represent as a job. Given how the club is and the principles that they have. Due to the public, the stadium, the fans because due to the project the club is undertaking, due to the knowledge I have and the people here, there is a lot of knowledge I have accumulated. Due to being integrated to the city and also to this region in England and also what surrounds it, Yorkshire.
I also value a lot the people that surround me and work for the club. I say this to justify, so I don’t appear someone who is predicting the future because all of the things I say now are true. Apart from that I would like to clear two things that are totally sincere. I would not like them to be interpret as false modesty.
I want to make it clear what false modesty is - it’s when the person says something and someone thinks it’s something else.
Firstly, I didn’t take Leeds to the PL. I manage here thanks to Leeds.
The second thing is absolutely true. Coaches that demand a lot are many, infinite. TO have footballers who accept this high demanding, there are very few. So the improvements that the Leeds United players have had has more to do with their capacity to adhere to this effort, rather than me.
For me to give this response, it doesn’t have any speculation that benefits me, it’s the opposite.
I would not consider any alternatives until may job here at Leeds is done. I am not going to be in contact with anyone and no-one has offered me anything. It is the least I can do given how I have been treated by the president of the club.
I understand that the club may have the needs to clear this up more quickly. I think it’s a normal, logical precaution they must take. That’s why I think it’s perfectly normal to have a list of alternatives.
Although it has not been manifested publicly, it’s normal for a club to act this way. If the club needs an answer prior to the end of the season, I will respond in the anticipated manner. But I would like it to leave it clear, Leeds as a project surpasses me as a coach.
Any coach would like to work at this club, given how it has been designed. There is still a dozen games, a third of the season left. And the game always offer conclusions that help make the correct decisions.
I always propose that all the games are finished, not for me, not for those that give me a job. Perhaps in the third of the season that’s left they could perhaps confirm that they want to continue with me, but it could also happen that they don’t, or they could doubt.
SO it’s not me who has an attitude of speculation against Leeds. It’s just a precaution that tends to favour the club and not me. I repeat - don’t listen to this answer as me predicting the future.
The big coaches in the world, and I’m not considering myself as one of them, any of them would love to work in an organisation like the one Leeds have built.
Target will be to stay up, but a top-half finish is possible. How proud are you of what your players have done so far?
The structure of the competition, the five first positions in the table and the five last places in the league, moving from the position from 15th to 10th or 10th to 5th, it doesn’t have a clear tendency. These are situations that change with a lot of frequency.
That’s why I insist a dozen games left says a lot about a team. Sometimes it confirms feelings or sensations, sometimes it opens up questions.
What I do have clear is that the club and players make a big effort to help the team.
What were Southampton’s strengths earlier in the season? Did you see them come back against Chelsea at the weekend?
I sort of exhausted my answer previously, but throughout the competition it’s difficult to maintain regularity when you lose 4 or 5 players who are started. You have manage that situation as teams will have ups and downs throughout the season.
Another stop-start season for Tyler Roberts - how is he developing as a player?
You summed it up a little bit. What Tyler needs is to play with continuity, but not because anyone is missing but because he deserves to keep his place.
Depending on this we will see if he is able to consolidate himself as a Premier League player or not.
The game that he played the other day, should allow him to continue in the team but to consolidate himself in the team he needs to improve.
He needs to be able to create more danger and generate fear from the opponents. The game the other day was an excellent first step. But he needs to keep on evolving.
How long could process of getting back into the top six take?
This year the club invested £100m and bought in six players. The make up of the squad and the investment that the club makes to improve the starting XI will mark how long it will take. FOr example, if Pascal is able to make himself as PL CB which is what everything indicates, he is a product of the youth teams. It’s a big help to find those 18 starting players I was talking about. SO it’s all subject to the evolution of the players who integrate the project. From this season 20-21, there are a number of corrections that are considered until you make up the 18 starting players.
Radrizzani is on the record saying you want to stay - are you happy to give an answer before the end of the season if they ask?
What I said, the first thing I want to highlight because what it seems like is that the president of offering an extension and I am delaying it, it could be interpreted as the club having more of a desire to stay than I do and that’s not the case. In no way do I want to position myself above the club. I reiterate, I am not going to manage any other options until my job here at Leeds is done. There is no speculation from my part.
The second thing is that the decision to work in a club for another year is so important that you must have a clear security. When you have a third of the season left to play perhaps in this period there will be things that happen that will alter the judgement that is useful to have in mind. That is my reasoning. So I go to what you ask me.
If the club needs and answer before the end of the season, I will respond before the end of the season. But if this happens I will take the time to tell them that they should consider what happens in the last part of the season. In this case it’s possible that they could say to me wait until the end of the season or they say they need to resolve it now. If they need a response prior to the end of the season I will give one.
Did Shackleton give you what you were looking for in these last two starts? His potential?
I believe in Shackleton as an important alternative for Leeds United. He’s in a similar process to that of Pascal.
The only thing is that Pascal has continuity that Shackleton does not. I feel he is a player I can trust.
He is a very serious player, very applied and very conscious of what is needed to play at this level.