Marcelo Bielsa has said that Kiko Casilla and Patrick Bamford will play for Leeds United this weekend.

Steve McClaren has praised Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa on BBC Radio Leeds for his decision to stick by Kiko Casilla and Patrick Bamford.

Bielsa has told Leeds Live that goalkeeper Casilla and striker Bamford will start for Leeds in their Championship game against Bristol City at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon.

Former Nottingham Forest and Derby County manager McClaren believes that Bielsa is right to stick by the two players.

McClaren said on BBC Radio Leeds: “Sometimes as a manager, there are tough, tough decisions and to stick by your goalkeeper I know is one of the toughest.

“Noel will know, sticking with your striker also, because they’re the ones – the ones in the middle, don’t worry about that, they can make mistakes all day long.

“Goalkeeper makes mistakes, Bamford’s not scoring – he’s getting all the criticism, so it’s at both ends where the game is won and lost. Goalkeepers are under pressure, strikers are under pressure. It’s good that he (Bielsa) sticks with them.”

Controversial decisions

Casilla has made some costly mistakes in recent weeks, including against Brentford and Nottingham Forest in the last two Championship games.

Bamford is a good striker, but the former Forest and Chelsea man does miss chances during crucial moments in matches.

However, Casilla does not have any real competition for his place between the sticks, while striker Jean-Kevin Augustin joined Leeds on loan only in the January transfer window and will need some time to stake his claim in the starting lineup ahead of Bamford.

While Bielsa’s decisions regarding Casilla and Bamford are controversial, the truth is that he really does not have better options at the moment.

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