Marcelo Bielsa has appealed to fans for calm ahead of Leeds ’ showdown with bitter rivals Manchester United at Elland Road.
Tensions are high after the protests this week against the aborted European Super League and there are fears over Leeds’ first home clash with the Reds for a decade.
Bielsa understands the passions surrounding a game as emotive as this and hopes there will be no trouble.
“I always hope that there is calmness,” said the Leeds boss.
“In this case, I don’t think singling out the players is adequate. I think the subject has already been dealt with.
“In football in a classic game like this, there is a grade of excitement that is absolutely enough and the most clear demand from this episode is put the focus on the football.”
Leeds fans were hurt by the Whites’ 6-2 mauling at Old Trafford before Christmas and Bielsa says he knows how big this game is to them.
“I know perfectly well what it means to play in a classic game,” he said. “It builds up for many years in the feelings of the fans.
“I know the effect that the result will have on the emotion of the people.”
Leeds supporter Kalvin Phillips was gutted by that Old Trafford rout and had stressed the importance of the game to his team-mates in the days before.
Patrick Bamford says he has been quieter this week, but still expects him to say something ahead of Sunday.
“Kalvin hasn’t played it up as much this time, but definitely the first time around we played them, he was like ‘this is a massive game’,” said the striker.
“He’s tried to tone it down a little bit, but the fact it's at Elland Road makes it better.
“This week he hasn’t said much. He’ll probably talk more the day before the game, but being from Leeds it’s massive for him as well.
“All his family hate United. They’re probably rooting for him and telling him ‘make sure you tell the lads how crucial this game is.’”
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