By Nick Ware

22nd Dec, 2020 | 10:30am

'Blown away' - Rio Ferdinand stunned by one thing he saw at Leeds but delivers big warning

Rio Ferdinand has expressed his admiration for Marcelo Bielsa, saying he was “blown away” by a recent trip to Thorp Arch to watch them training. 

However, he believes a lack of quality will continue to expose Leeds United on the big stage.

Leeds were thrashed 6-2 by bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday, with the difference in the sides obvious as the visitors suffered at Old Trafford.

Speaking on the ‘Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE’ YouTube channel, the former Leeds and Manchester United defender said, “Obviously I support United so I wanted them to win but I did not see this result coming.

“I saw goals but I didn’t see it being such a gulf in terms of the scoreline.

“I was worried for Leeds before the game if they continued and play the way they are playing which is aggressive, front-foot, one-v-one all over the pitch when they haven’t got the ball.

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“Bielsa, who is talked about as an unbelievable coach, I went and watched him coach his team and I was blown away to be honest with you.

“Sometimes it comes down to personnel, the standard of players sometimes. If you’re making players match up one v one, it does come down sometimes to whose got the better players at times, and Man United obviously have the better players, especially at the top end of the pitch.”

Bam the man

Bielsa will be hoping Patrick Bamford can rediscover his early-season goal touch soon, after the forward failed to fire again.

With four blanks in his last six appearances, Bamford has only scored two goals in that period, compared to seven in the previous eight.

He had a great chance to score early on against Man United but dragged his shot wide.

While his form in front of goal has not affected Leeds’ ability to put the ball in the net, with at least one goal in their last five games, Bielsa will surely be hoping that Bamford starts to net with the same regularity as he was at the start of the campaign.

The next two fixtures should fill him with some optimism – Leeds host lowly Burnley before travelling to West Brom, who possess the second leakiest defence in the division.

Goals in these games will push Bamford into double figures as he chases down his tally of 16 from last season.

And six points from these two games will make the table look a whole lot more rosier.

In other Leeds news, View: Bielsa drops big hint that Leeds 20yo set for 1st PL start v Burnley after new injury blow.