Lamps fu­ri­ous over Bielsa ‘spy’

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By James O’Brien

FRANK Lam­pard in­sisted he would rather quit coach­ing than em­ploy the ‘spy­ing’ tac­tics used by op­po­site num­ber Marcelo Bielsa ahead of Derby County’s de­feat at Leeds United.

The build-up to the match was over­shad­owed after a man was caught out­side Derby’s train­ing ground on Thurs­day.

Der­byshire Po­lice were forced to in­ter­vene and it tran­spired the man was an em­ployee of Leeds who was watch­ing a train­ing ses­sion.

Bielsa spoke to Lam­pard over the phone to ac­cept full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the in­ci­dent, but the for­mer Eng­land mid­fielder was still un­happy with the pre-match dis­trac­tion after goals from Ke­mar Roofe and Jack Har­ri­son se­cured Leeds a wel­come win.

“We lost to the bet­ter team from minute one to minute 90 what­ever,” said Lam­pard.

“There’s no talk­ing around that. I’m in a dif­fi­cult po­si­tion be­cause I want to draw a line be­tween the per­for­mance and the big­ger story of what hap­pened.

“Of course I don’t think it’s right and I’m not sure any­one who’s played sport at any level would think it’s right.

“Cheat­ing is a big word. If you talk about gain­ing ad­van­tages, great and good man­agers do that. But this one is over the line. It’s not just a toe over the line, it’s a hop, skip and a jump over the line.

“I’d rather not coach than send peo­ple un­der­cover on their hands and knees with ply­ers and bolt cut­ters to go and look at the op­po­si­tion be­cause I re­spect the op­po­si­tion.”

Leeds ap­peared to have made a dream start in­side the first minute when ref­eree Andy Davies awarded a penalty after Ezg­jan Alioski had been bun­dled over in the box, only to see his as­sis­tant had in­cor­rectly flagged for off­side.

United did, how­ever, go ahead after 20 min­utes when ex­cit­ing young­ster Jack Clarke glided past Craig Bryson, be­fore send­ing over a cross which was guided home at the near post by Roofe.

A minute into the sec­ond pe­riod Scott Car­son could only parry Clarke’s floated cross and Ezg­jan Alioski’s scuffed cen­tre left Har­ri­son with an easy chance to make it 2-0.

Rams sub David Nu­gent was pre­sented with a chance to get Derby right back in it when Bai­ley Pea­cock-Far­rell came charg­ing out of his goal and only just man­aged to block the striker’s 40-yard at­tempt with his legs.

Leeds re­mained a threat on the break and twice went close through sub Jamie Shack­le­ton and the ir­re­press­ible Clarke.

Bielsa in­sisted it was not his in­ten­tion to gain an ad­van­tage and ab­solved his club of any blame.

The for­mer Ar­gentina and Chile coach ad­mit­ted it is a tac­tic he has em­ployed for a num­ber of years.

“It’s some­thing le­gal in South Amer­ica and here, too,” said Bielsa. “But when it be­comes pub­lic it doesn’t pro­voke the same in­dig­na­tion as it does in Eng­land.

“I didn’t call him (Lam­pard) to apol­o­gise, I called him to say it ac­tu­ally hap­pened and that I was re­spon­si­ble.”

JOY: Jack Har­ri­son, cen­tre, cel­e­brates scor­ing Leeds’ sec­ond. In­set above: Adam For­shaw and David Nu­gent bat­tle. Below: Leeds fans in the stands make spy ges­tures

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