Leeds manager search: Hasenhuttl once deemed Bielsa display an 'example' for his own team
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Leeds manager search: Hasenhuttl once deemed Bielsa display an 'example' for his own team

Leeds United are currently on the lookout for a new manager after parting company with Jesse Marsch.

The Whites board sacked the American coach a day after the Elland Road side lost at Nottingham Forest.

Leeds’ 1-0 loss at the City Ground on Sunday was their seventh Premier League game without a victory.

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The Whites haven’t won in the league since 5 November.

Now, only goal difference separates Leeds from the bottom three of the table.

One of the managers linked with the Elland Road hotseat is former Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.

I News reported yesterday that the Whites are eyeing the 55-year-old as a potential Marsch replacement.

Reports claiming Hasenhuttl has turned down the Hoffenheim role have only added to the speculation.

Hasenhuttl is one of the reported Leeds managerial targets who Whites fans will be most familiar with.

The Austrian spent four years managing Southampton, until his sacking last year.

‘Completely opposite way of thinking’ to Bielsa

Hasenhuttl once spoke about his style of play compared to that of Bielsa, saying they were at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Like Bielsa, the Austrian likes to employ an energetic pressing game.

However, Hasenhuttl noted how the Argentine’s man-to-man marking system is different to the ex-Saints manager’s tactics.

“He is a famous manager, a successful one with Leeds,” the Yorkshire Evening Post quoted Hasenhuttl as saying in February 2021.

“He has a completely opposite way of thinking than I do. Their defending is definitely more man-oriented rather than ball oriented.

“I don’t see many teams do it how we do it. I am sure you could say the same about his. It’s the opposite. It will be interesting to see.”

‘I saw that Leeds performance as an example’

Despite noting the tactical differences, Hasenhuttl did once say that his side used a Bielsa Leeds display as a template for his own side.

In May 2021, Hasenhuttl credited Leeds as an inspiration for 10-man Southampton’s battling draw with Leicester.

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He spoke of how Leeds were able to beat Manchester City despite seeing captain Liam Cooper shown a red card.

“The way we defended was a little more man-oriented,” Leeds Live quoted Hasenhuttl as saying.

“This is something we have discussed. We were in and around the box, defending with our bodies, and I think this made the difference today.

“We haven’t practiced playing with ten men but there are some good examples of how teams have defender well against good sides with ten men.

“I saw that Leeds performance as an example. We didn’t speak about the game to the players but it showed us that it is always possible against a strong side to take something in these situations.

“When we scored we even had the chance for three points, just like Leeds did against Manchester City.

“The way the guys worked this week was good to see.

“We reset our targets and now we want to climb over the next five games.”

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