By Mark Smith

14th Feb, 2020 | 8:30pm

'They can make mistakes all day long' - Steve McClaren makes bold Leeds selection claim

Steve McClaren has praised Marcelo Bielsa for sticking with Leeds United duo Patrick Bamford and Kiko Casilla despite their recent poor run of form.

The former England manager admitted that the players in the middle of the park can make as many mistakes as they like, with fans starting to call for the two to be dropped at Elland Road.

McClaren claimed that with Bamford and Casilla playing at the two business ends of the pitch means they will receive the most of the criticism.

“Sometimes as a manager, there are tough, tough decisions and to stick by your goalkeeper I know is one of the toughest,” he told BBC West Yorkshire Sport.

“Noel will know, sticking with your striker also, because they’re the ones – the ones in the middle, don’t worry about that, they can make mistakes all day long.

“Goalkeeper makes mistakes, Bamford’s not scoring – he’s getting all the criticism, so it’s at both ends where the game is won and lost. Goalkeepers are under pressure, strikers are under pressure.”

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“It’s good that he (Bielsa) sticks with them.”

Many Leeds fans are surely set to disagree with McClaren, who clearly must not have seen the Whites enough times in the past two months.

He is right to suggest that players in the middle of the park can make fewer mistakes, but that would make it sound like Bamford and Casilla have been in the wrong a couple of times – with the truth being that it is becoming a weekly experience for them to not perform.

Take Casilla for example, his massive error against Brentford was one in a catalogue recently. He has been beaten at the front post in defeats against Forest and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as a number of mistakes in the 3-3 draw against Cardiff.

Bielsa can’t be stubborn for too long, as it could come back to haunt him with the French duo Illan Meslier and Jean-Kevin Augustin waiting in the wings for a chance.

In other Leeds United news, Nahki Wells has revealed Bristol City training sessions with this England legend in the build-up to Saturday clash