Guiseley manager Russ O’Neill believes his side could have stolen a result against an ‘excellent’ Leeds United side during their 3-2 pre-season defeat to the Premier League side, as he told the club’s website.
Marcelo Bielsa’s starting XI may have had an average age of just 18, but it was no ordinary group of youngsters who took to the field at a chilly Nethermoor Park on Tuesday night.
Crysencio Summerville, the former Feyenoord winger who netted one and set up another at Guiseley, arrived at Elland Road on the back of a superb Eredivisie spell at ADO Den Haag.
Joe Gelhardt, Charlie Allen and Cody Drameh had admirers at other big-name Premier League clubs before deciding that Leeds was the place to be while Sam Greenwood, scorer of a brilliant free-kick at Guiseley, joined from Arsenal for a fee of £3 million.
Summerville, Greenwood and Allen scored against Guiseley
So, given the ability and the potential at Bielsa’s disposal even without the likes of Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Diego Llorente, the Argentine’s opposite number was thrilled about the way his non-league charges went about their business in front of 2,000 loyal supporters.
“An excellent Leeds. You have to say, they’ve got good players all over the pitch,” O’Neill said at full-time. “But I thought we acquitted ourselves well, we grew into it and we could have nicked something towards the end.
“It was a competitive game! They’ve got good players but, when you analyse the goals, they’ve scored from a penalty, they’ve scored from a free-kick and they’ve scored from a mistake which they punished us with.”
U23 coach Mark Jackson led the side out at Guisely, but the presence of Bielsa on the Nethermoor Park terraces certainly didn’t go unnoticed, not by the supporters and not by O’Neill either.
“It’s unbelievable, he’s just got that aura about him, he’s got that presence,” said the former Alfreton Town and Buxton coach.
“As soon as he walks in the stadium you know he’s here without even seeing him. It’s fantastic to go up against somebody like Marcelo Bielsa.”