By Craig Scott

28th Dec, 2019 | 5:27pm

Pep Clotet admits what he 'stole' from Marcelo Bielsa ahead of Leeds clash v Blues

Birmingham City manager Pep Clotet has admitted to stealing some of Marcelo Bielsa’s ideas ahead of his side’s clash against Leeds United on Sunday.

Clotet left his role as Leeds’ assistant manager in 2017 before working alongside Garry Monk as Birmingham’s number two.

After Monk’s exit earlier this year, Clotet was promoted to manager and is now seeing a side that should achieve a comfortable mid-table finish this season in the Championship.

He is still a relatively inexperienced manager and appears to owe a lot to Leeds boss Bielsa for the way he has started his career.

“I know Leeds very well,” he said, as quoted by Blues’ official website.

“They are a team I love to see playing because it’s a style of football that I identify myself to. Some of the way that they work and the way that they play, I extracted a lot of things from Marcelo (Bielsa), I stole really.

“For me it’s a pleasure to see him in his second season getting his group playing that kind of football and making a massive difference in the Championship.

“I think he deserves that and more, and it is a pleasure to see a team like that doing well. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to make it very difficult for them because we want to secure the three points.”

If Clotet has stolen some of Bielsa’s ideas and tries to use them against him at St Andrew’s on Sunday then that might not be the best of ideas.

Clotet has not shied away from mixing things up this season so is unlikely to try and play an open, attack-minded game when the Championship’s second-placed team arrives in the Second City.

Blues could take a lot of encouragement from the way Preston play against the Whites on Boxing Day but Bielsa is bound to be prepared for anything like that and whatever Clotet throws at him is unlikely to faze the Argentine.

In other Leeds United news, fans are not happy with Andrea Radrizzani’s tweet about the January transfer window.