By Mark Smith

16th Dec, 2019 | 3:00pm

Phil Hay: Bielsa did this with award after successful November for Leeds

The Manager of the Month award picked up by Marcelo Bielsa seemed a distant memory once Cardiff City equalised against Leeds United on Saturday.

Three goals to the good after an hour of football at Elland Road, the Whites were well on their way to picking up their eighth win in a row.

Many questioned Bielsa’s substitutions in the 3-3 draw, but no one can argue how much he has changed for the positive during his time in West Yorkshire.

Bielsa is a manager that always puts his side above his own interests. It was somewhat of a surprise to see him line up for a picture with the award.

When he picked up the trophy for the first time last season, he refused to acknowledge and instead continue with his work.

The Athletic journalist Phil Hay recently revealed what the South American has done with the award for November.

“His first trophy is at Elland Road, sitting on the filing cabinet of the club’s head of communications,” he wrote.

“The second was given straight to his captain, Liam Cooper, after the formality of a photo was dealt with.”

Giving the award to Cooper could be a recognition of how vital he has been to the success of Leeds in recent times. The Scottish international was often deemed as a weak link for the Whites.

There is no doubting how much he has improved in defence though. His influence is massive alongside Ben White, and his absence was felt in the game against Cardiff.

Bielsa did claim that the attention on him was unwarranted, so it no surprise to see him hand the award away. Leeds have missed Cooper, and there will be fingers crossed that he can return against Fulham.

In other Leeds United news, This is what I’ve heard: Midlands journalist delivers significant update on player Leeds chasing