Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has hailed Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the Norwegian’s ability to handle the pressure that taking the Old Trafford hot-seat brings.
Bielsa, 65, will already go down as a Leeds United legend after successfully guiding the Whites back to the Premier League for the first-time in 16-years.
Not only is Bielsa’s promotion heroics hailed in Yorkshire, sporting fans all around the world are frequently in awe of the South American tactician’s fearless approach to attacking football.
There is no denying it – Leeds United are a breath of fresh air and a pleasure to watch.
The Whites, built on the foundations of a resilient back-line with two well-rounded wing-backs in Luke Ayling and Ezgjan Alioski play a superb brand of football which consists of hard and fast pressing followed by lethal counter-attacks.
Bielsa will be hoping his side, who will travel to an empty Old Trafford on Sunday can pull off another upset as they look to hit the 20-point benchmark after just 14 domestic matches.
On the flip-side, Leeds United’s 65-year-old mastermind will be testing his wits against United’s Solskjaer who often comes under criticism for his lack of experience, despite seeing his youthful Red Devils emerge as possible title contenders.
Solskjaer’s near two-year reign at Old Trafford has seen the Norwegian come under relentless scrutiny with his ability to guide United back to the top continually questioned.
Speaking ahead of the two side’s mouth-watering match-up in the Premier League on Sunday, Bielsa addressed the criticism his counter-part often suffers, as quoted by Yorkshire Live, the Argentinian said: “We are all over-observed and this is a situation where no coach is exempt.
“It increases or decreases depending on the success the team has. It’s part of the job. And of course, Solskjaer has dealt very well with this aspect we have just spoken about.”
Bielsa, like Solskjaer, who also has a history of playing after turning out for Newell Old Boys during his younger days, was asked if he thinks Solskjaer’s rich history as a United player has afforded the Norwegian more time from the Reds’ board, he said: “It’s not exactly the same.
“Solskjaer was a reference for Manchester United. I played two games in the top division.
“Normally, when a player has played for a long time in a team they have the affection of the fans and when they become a manager they have more of their support.”
Going on to address the magnitude of Sunday’s match, Bielsa said: “Leeds does not ignore what it means to play in such a game. We’re prepared to adapt to the characteristics that this game will demand.”