Trevor Sinclair has admitted he was wrong when Marcelo Bielsa substituted Patrick Bamford off as Leeds United beat Manchester City on Saturday.
Leeds were 1-0 ahead when Liam Cooper was sent off before half-time and that prompted Bielsa to take striker Patrick Bamford off and replace him with defender Pascal Struijk.
Ferran Torres equalised for Man City in the 76th minute before Stuart Dallas, with his second goal of the game, netted a late winner for the Whites in stoppage time.
Former Man City and England player Sinclair has told talkSPORT he was baffled when Bielsa took Bamford off but has now admitted he was wrong to think the way he did.
“I was at the game the Etihad and I did give Leeds and their players and their management [credit] for the changes they made when they got the red card,” Sinclair said on the White and Jordan Show on Wednesday [10:10am].
“Bringing off the centre-forward you think, ‘why are you taking off the centre-forward if you want to win this game?’ But he brought off the centre-forward.
“[Leeds] had energy, every player stuck to their man and did their task, did their job superbly well, took responsibility, worked the socks off and prior to that, they wouldn’t have won that game if their fitness levels weren’t as high.
“I give Leeds United a lot of credit for that when it was
Host Jim White responded by saying: “Fair enough.”
When a team gets reduced to 10 men with a centre-back getting sent off, most managers would replace an attacking player for a defensive one.
Bielsa’s decision wasn’t a massive shock – at least it wasn’t for us Leeds fans – so we don’t see why Sinclair questioned it.
Leeds were 1-0 up when Cooper was red-carded so taking off Bamford for Struijk and playing a more defensive-minded game made a lot more sense than unbalancing the midfield or something.
Sinclair sounds surprised that the players were as fit as they were too. Has he not watched or at least read about Bielsa’s Leeds? Has he never heard of murderball?
It’s a very odd assessment from the talkSPORT pundit. We have no idea why he would be baffled by Bielsa’s substitution because it just seemed like a very normal and natural thing to do for a team who are a goal ahead but a man down.
In other Leeds United news, Leeds have been joined by Manchester United in the race to sign a young player who’s already visited Thorp Arch.