Bristol City assistant manager Jamie McAllister has claimed that Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa is “one of the best managers in the world”.
City travel to Elland Road to face Leeds tomorrow knowing that a win would see them draw level on points with the Whites.
The Robins picked up an important three points against Derby County in midweek and will be looking to make it five wins in their last six Championship games with a victory on Saturday.
Bielsa’s men have endured a rough few months, with their 3-2 victory over Millwall in January their only win since the turn of the year.
However, with Kalvin Phillips back from his suspension, they looked close to their best and dominated high-flying Brentford on Tuesday night.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of the clash, McAllister suggested the Robins weren’t reading too much into their recent poor results.
He said (via the club’s official Twitter account): “We think they’re still in good form, although their results don’t suggest that. We know what their threats are, we know what a good side they are.”
When pressed on Bielsa, McAllister heaped praise on the Argentine coach.
He said: “Excellent. Top coach. One of the best in the world.
“His style of play, his movements and rotations, and how they play with such energy and have real quality in the side as well.
“It is a big challenge for us.”
City have beaten Leeds just once since 1997 and have lost every game against the Yorkshire club since Bielsa took charge last season.
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It’s a bold claim from McAllister but one that appears to be reflected by some of the world’s top coaches, with the likes of Pep Guardiola seeing him as a mentor.
City have a really tough task on their hands on Saturday and despite heading into the game in much better form, would do really well to get a result.
A key positive for them is that their team is quite well set up to be effective from set-pieces and on the counter-attack, two of the few areas it is possible to get at Leeds.
It looks set to be an enthralling clash and could be yet another turn in the promotion race.