Marcelo Bielsa has given his backing to Leeds’ butterfingers goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, despite suffering his latest blunder in their 1-1 draw with Brentford.
The former Real Madrid glovesman gifted the Bees their opening goal at Griffin Park.
Casilla slipped and let Liam Cooper’s tame backpass roll under his foot, allowing Said Benrahma to tap home at the far post to give the Bees the lead.
It was a dreadful error from the 33-year-old, who has come under-fire from fans and has had his place in the team questioned after a number of recent shaky performances.
Fortunately for the Spaniard, Cooper grabbed an equaliser to ensure Leeds clung on to their place in the top-two automatic promotion spots, although barely.
Many supporters are calling for Casilla to be dropped, having signed 18-year-old Italian goalkeeper Elia Caprile from Chievo Verona in January.
But it appears Bielsa – who has faced criticism for keeping with the same side during a run of two wins in 11 Championship games – will stick with his No.1.
“Kiko doesn’t need my words because I always support him and his decisions,” said the Whites boss after Tuesday night’s draw.
“Because I know the human quality of the players of Leeds, I think he will receive support from his team-mates and not lose confidence.”
Despite the nature of the result, it was a welcome point for Bielsa, whose side have seen their 11-point advantage over third place evaporate in the last two months.
However, they will still find themselves outside the automatic promotion spots in 24 hours’ time if Fulham pick up a win at Millwall.
Leeds, with four defeats in their previous five matches, arrived in west London with a terrible history against the Bees, having not won at Griffin Park since 1950, while their defeat at Brentford in their third-to-last match which derailed last term’s promotion bid was fresh in the memory.
The rot may not have stopped entirely but Cooper’s equaliser, after Brentford keeper David Raya flapped at a corner, could be the start of a Leeds revival.
Bielsa added: “We defended well, was difficult to attack for us even though we attacked all the match.
“The players left everything on the pitch. We controlled their attackers well, we managed the ball well, and this is not easy against a team like Brentford.”