Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that boss Marcelo Bielsa told his players they are better than Cagliari – something the players initially unconvinced with.
The Whites flew out to Sardinia over the weekend to take on Serie A side Cagliari, as the club's pre-season preparations continued ahead of the new Championship season.
Whilst one Leeds side were taking on Girona at the Etihad Campus in Manchester, another XI were looking to beat Cagliari and end on a high.
Valter Birsa put Cagliari in front, only for Pablo Hernandez to score from the penalty spot and rescue a 1-1 draw for Leeds, with Kalvin Phillips picking up a red card late on.
Bielsa went with a 3-3-1-3 system against Cagliari, the system he enjoyed success with in charge of Chile, Athletic Bilbao and Marseille, and he gave his players a message before facing the Italians.
Defender Berardi has revealed that Bielsa told his players before the game that they were better than Cagliari, something that the Leeds players said they weren't sure about.
However, as the game went on, they understood that Bielsa really was right, with the defender feeling that Leeds were far superior even if they couldn't get the win.
Berardi admitted that Leeds 'need a better confidence', which is natural with new players and a new system, but Bielsa's words – which Berardi feels were proven right in the end – should bring some of that confidence.
“Cagliari are a good side but Marcelo told us that we are better than them,” said Berardi. “Before the game we said we are not sure about this but during the game you could see that it looked like this so it’s been a good game.”
“There is a good confidence but I think we will need a better confidence because it’s normal that during the pre-season when we try something new, with new players, new shape, new system. We need to find the right shape, the right confidence to start the new season,” he added.
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