Match preview: Hurst would love his Ipswich Town side to play like Bielsa’s Leeds

PUBLISHED: 13:50 24 October 2018

Leeds United's Pontus Jansson (right) celebrates. The Yorkshire side surged to the top of the table after winning four of their first five. Photo: PA

Leeds United's Pontus Jansson (right) celebrates. The Yorkshire side surged to the top of the table after winning four of their first five. Photo: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Ipswich Town take on Leeds United at Elland Road tonight (7.45pm). Here’s what Blues boss Paul Hurst had to say ahead of the action.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa yesterday gave an uninterupted 15 minute explanation regarding his team's drop in form (two wins in nine games). Photo: PALeeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa yesterday gave an uninterupted 15 minute explanation regarding his team's drop in form (two wins in nine games). Photo: PA

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst is fully aware most people have written his struggling side off when it comes to their Championship clash at Leeds United tonight.

The Blues are as long as 7-1 to win at Elland Road having returned to the foot of the table with a limp 2-0 home defeat to fellow-strugglers QPR on Saturday.

MORE: Big interview: Freddie Sears on Ipswich Town fighting relegation, rumours of discontent and Hurst’s methods

High-flying Leeds, meanwhile, have earned plenty of plaudits for their attacking football under former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa. The Yorkshire side have seen the victories dry up in recent weeks though and come into this game off the back of a 2-1 defeat at Blackburn.

“I’ve already said that I think Brentford and Leeds are the two best teams I’ve seen consistently,” said Hurst. “There is lots and lots to admire from both teams.

MORE: ‘There are lots of things at this football club I would change’- full transcript as Hurst questions Town’s direction

“We’re going to have to really be at our best to make sure that we’re competitive because, if not, there’s only one outcome.

“I want to go there and get a point or all three, but the reality of it is that not many people, if anybody, will expect us to go there and get anything.

“We’ve got to try and prove those people wrong.”

MORE: ‘To my knowledge that’s kind of hearsay’ – Hurst responds to Holland’s claim Evans is lining up a replacement

Bielsa is seen by many as the Godfather of the high press and Hurst has previously said that he’d love his team to play that way.

“Yeah, but ultimately you’ve got to have the players that can do that and, let’s be honest, there’s a big disparity in terms of what they’ve been able to assemble compared to ourselves,” said the Blues boss.

Cole Skuse and Luke Chambers walk from the pitch following Saturday's limp 2-0 home defeat to QPR. Photo: Steve WallerCole Skuse and Luke Chambers walk from the pitch following Saturday's limp 2-0 home defeat to QPR. Photo: Steve Waller

MORE: ‘People do not have the full story’ – Hurst on why World Cup players are in reserve and make-up of back four

“I like the positivity in their play, I like the way they look after the ball and the forward runs and the energy.

“There are certain aspects to the play that aren’t simply about money though and that’s what we’ve got to try and bring to our play.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s defeat to QPR, he said: “Someone who is not directly involved said to me that they thought the players looked like they were almost scared.

MORE: ‘A different voice can be beneficial’ – Hurst confirms coach Hogg is working with first-team

“I honestly don’t believe that’s come from myself or the staff. That’s probably more the situation that we find ourselves in. What I would say, as a manger you have X amount of influence and then it’s up to the players to go out and perform

Ipswich Town won their last away outing, 3-2 at Swansea City. Photo: PagepixIpswich Town won their last away outing, 3-2 at Swansea City. Photo: Pagepix

“We are all in this together. It’s not simply the manager, it’s not simply the players, it’s not simply the staff. It’s everybody.”

Opposition lowdown

Last five finishes: 13th, 7th, 13th, 15th, 15th (all Championship)

Manager: Marcelo Bielsa (June 2018): P15 W7 D5 L3

Last game: L 2-1 Blackburn (a)

Form: LDWDL WDDLW

Last home attendance: 31,880

Carabao Cup: R2, L 2-0 Preston (h)

League ever-presents: Peacock-Farrell, Klich, Phillips, Alioski, Saiz (13)

Top-scorers: Klich (5), Roofe (4), Roberts,

Hernandez, Alioski (all 3)

Most assists: Douglas, Alioski, Klich (3)

Stat attack

2 – Wins in last nine for Leeds (D4 L3 F9 A9)

2 – Goals conceded by Ipswich in each of their last five away games

• The last time Ipswich won successive away games was March (Preston/Sheff W)

Last meeting

Ipswich Town 1 Leeds United 0

Date: Saturday, January 13, 2018

Bersant Celina’s 25-yard thunderbolt (67) settled a heated affair at Portman Road.

Leeds midfielder Eunan O’Kane was dismissed just before half-time for lashing out at Jonas Knudsen.

The Blues had lost 3-2 at Elland Road after Bartosz Bialkowski fumbled in a corner.

Stuart’s prediction

Leeds United 2 Ipswich Town 0

Leeds have quality and are a wounded animal. Hard not to fear the worst.

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