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Bielsa makes Adam Forshaw claim after Leeds loss vs Newcastle

Marcelo Bielsa has suggested that having Adam Forshaw in the Leeds side on Saturday would not have improved their chances against Newcastle – in comments reported by Leeds Live.

Leeds suffered a hugely disappointing loss at Elland Road. A late Jonjo Shelvey free-kick saw the Magpies pick up a vital three points in their battle to beat the drop.

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Most Leeds fans would have taken six points from nine at the start of January. However, with defeat coming in the last of the three games in the month, and Newcastle being the side to beat Bielsa’s men, much of the optimism picked up from the previous two results has evaporated for now.

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Of course, Leeds were dealt a couple of big blows before the game. Forshaw joined those already on the sidelines after coming off in the first-half against West Ham.

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Forshaw has been a revelation since his return earlier this season. He has looked every inch a Premier League player. And his presence has allowed Leeds to cope without Kalvin Phillips, who has now missed several weeks.

So it was little surprise that Bielsa was asked whether Leeds missed Forshaw in the latter stages against Newcastle. However, he insisted that it was not the 30-year-old’s absence that hurt the Whites as they looked for an equaliser.

“No, the role of Forshaw, Klich occupied it today,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live. “And at the end of the game we had two offensive midfielders who had the capacity to unbalance like Tyler and Rodrigo with five players in front.

“I don’t think the characteristics of Forshaw would’ve improved this situation. Because Tyler and Rodrigo are players who have the characteristic to find that final pass and also to receive it.”

Leeds lacking ruthless touch in front of goal more important than Forshaw absence against Newcastle

In fairness, Leeds probably were the better side between both boxes. There were a lot of openings, particularly during the first-half. However, the final pass was seemingly never there.

Martin Dubravka was never given a lot to do in the Newcastle goal. So it certainly appears that the big problem was in the final third.

Daniel James was outstanding up front at the London Stadium. And of course, Jack Harrison was lethal. But neither could replicate those performances this time around.

Leeds would have probably been stronger with Forshaw in the side. But you can understand why Bielsa did not see his absence as being decisive.

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