Marcelo Bielsa has praised Kiko Casilla following Leeds United’s win over Middlesbrough, and suggested that the goalkeeper was brave to play at the Riverside Stadium, in comments reported by Leeds Live.
Casilla looked to be a doubt for Wednesday night’s clash. He sustained an injury during the weekend win over Reading.
And it appeared to be a potentially ominous sign when Leeds posted a video on Twitter showing the squad arriving at Boro. While Casilla was there, so too was January signing Elia Caprile along with Illan Meslier.
But when the teams were announced, Casilla kept his place. And it proved to be a positive night for the Spaniard.
Leeds moved back to being five points clear of the chasing pack in the Championship. And Casilla kept his third clean sheet in a row.
And following the game, Bielsa praised Casilla’s choice to make himself available.
“It was a brave decision from him to play this match,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live. “Not many players would have played this match with the pain he had. He had a good performance, safe. It was good from him.”
Once again, Casilla was not given too much to do against Jonathan Woodgate’s side. But when he was called upon, he stepped up.
He made a smart save from a long-range effort during the second-half. And he seemed to deal well with crosses.
Admittedly, Casilla has perhaps not been tested enough over the last three games to silence his critics. But there is no question that he could have hardly done more in those fixtures either.