By Nick Ware

29th Nov, 2021 | 8:10am

Ally McCoist suggests Marcelo Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips have held behind-the-scenes talks

Ally McCoist suggests talks may have taken place between Marcelo Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips after recent speculation of problems between the Leeds United duo.

Phillips, 25, has been deployed as a centre-back in recent weeks and he was taken off at half-time of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Brighton.

“Anyway, that one’s from Marcus in Nottingham wanting to talk about whether there is a problem between Marcelo Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips and he might have a point actually,” Laura Woods said via talkSPORT on Monday morning [29/11/21].

“As a player, you play anywhere the manager asks you to play,” McCoist replied.

“I do take the point that Kalvin Phillips certainly is more suited to playing the midfield role than centre-back and I do find it a little bit strange that he has been deployed in that position.

“I would imagine, you would hope, that Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips have sat down and had a chat about it.

“If there’s a problem it’s probably just because he knows it’s not his best position and he’d rather not play there.”

Woods: “Is there a danger when you fall out with big players if you’re asking them to do something that they don’t want to do, as a manager when results aren’t going your way?”

McCoist: “There is no way any manager can be dictated to by the players, once that starts you’re finished.”

Points to change mood

Leeds are currently in the midst of an awful run of results that has left them on the verge of the Premier League relegation spots.

The Whites have suffered a number of injuries to key players and that has decimated the options at Bielsa’s disposal.

That has forced the Argentine to shuffle his pack and make a series of adaptations to his side through the 2021/22 campaign so far.

One of those has been to use Phillips in defence, something he has done before.

Of course, Phillips’ heightened reputation now as an England international has increased the scrutiny on him at Elland Road, with pundits and fans, particularly those of an England persuasion, desperate to see him in midfield.

But Bielsa has to do what he thinks is right for Leeds first and foremost.

With bad results come more whispers and speculation.

The likelihood is that Phillips and Bielsa have a healthy relationship and talk will subside once the Whites get back to winnings ways.

In other Leeds United news, a Premier League rival is in talks to poach Victor Orta.