Three things learned from Marcelo Bielsa's first Leeds match in charge

Marcelo Bielsa manager of OPlympique de Marseille during the 'Panchina D'oro season 2013-2014' on March 9, 2015 in Florence, Italy.

Leeds earned a narrow win over League Two outfit Forest Green Rovers.

LOSC Lille coach Marcelo Bielsa looks on before the pre-season friendly match between Atalanta BC and LOSC Lille at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on July 26, 2017 in Bergamo, Italy.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa will have realised that there is plenty of work to be done between now and the start of the Championship season, as the Whites earned a narrow 2-1 win over Forest Green Rovers.

Goals from Kemar Roofe and Luke Ayling gave the away side the victory, but Bailey Peacock-Farrell was called into action on a regular basis while Rovers winger Dale Grubb got his name on the score sheet.

Bielsa made plenty of notes on his notepad throughout the match, and will have much to mull over ahead of August 5th's opener against Stoke City. Here are three things learned from the clash:

 

Phillips to drop deeper?

Kalvin Phillips was the connection between the midfield and attack last season, playing as a box-to-box midfielder and managing to find the back of the net nine times. But the 22-year-old played in a different role on Tuesday night.

Indeed, Phillips was used as a holding midfielder, filling in at centre-back when Leeds had possession and starting attacks from deep. He could be the deep-lying playmaker Bielsa requires in his 3-3-1-3 system.

Cooper more than capable

Liam Cooper of Leeds United in action with Andreas Weimann of Derby County during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Leeds United at iPro Stadium on February 21, 2018...

Though the opposition was only a fourth-tier side in Forest Green, captain Liam Cooper showed that he was more than capable of playing with the ball at his feet and was arguably one of the Whites' best players throughout.

Doubts had been raised whether the 26-year-old would be able to cope with Bielsa's style of play, but he looked more than adept at centre-back and showed Leeds fans that missing out on Kyle Bartley is not the end of the world.

Saiz shows his good and bad side

The 27-year-old playmaker enjoyed a decent first season at Elland Road last term, having a hand in 17 goals and he showed glimpses of magic on Tuesday night - though evidently rusty and perhaps slightly unfit.

A handful of neat touches, bits of skill and nice passes were on show, but the red mist descended again as at one stage it appeared he even aimed a reaction towards the Forest Green captain, which fortunately was not noticed by the officials.

More game time, and a word from Bielsa is required.

Samu Saiz of Leeds United (C) celebrates his sides first goal with team mates during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate on October 21, 2017...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch