MB Pre Wolves
English football is normally characterised by accepting or waiting with the long processes. Since I have been here there have been solid cases, for example, the one at Norwich. That characteristic is perhaps not as stable as it used to be. With respect to the psychological health, whenever that type of health is needed it's natural to look for the specialists. There are those who need it or think they need it. And some who need it, but don't think they do. That resource can never be forced on anyone. It depends on each person.
Kalvin is healthy, but he has not competed for three weeks. If he played on Saturday it would be far too quick. After three weeks out it's necessary for more training. At this stage he has done sessions for recovery and physical prep and progressive work with the ball. To think of him for Saturday would be too soon before his best.
Ayling and Bamford are not going to be here for the next two games. Raphinha is back and acclimatised. Koch still has at least one month to go.
Enough strength in depth in the squad?
I think about it, but you are in condition to verify it without needing my opinion. Last season, Leeds used the fewest players. They were the team who changed the fewest players for their starting XI. They were the team who ran the most in all the values. We suffered a lot of injuries and sometimes simultaneously and in the same position. It does not matter, my opinion, because my opinion can be mistaken. There is evidence that allows you to not make a wrong conclusion.
Why second season not as good as the first?
There are a lot of arguments. The arguments have been talking about them in the measure the problems have been occurring. I always try to listen to the principal reasons for why this is happening. I have the desire to be proved wrong or to be wrong in my diagnostic because if I find I am wrong I have the option to correct and to learn from the error. The principal arguments are: the squad is too small, I already gave that response; also there are no alternative plans in the way of playing, the way of playing is generic and it's very difficult to imagine the game in a different way.
We try to have the ball more than the opponent. We try to take the ball from our half to theirs without putting the ball too much at risk and try the possession in their half creates danger. That's part of all models. What can change is whether you are the protagonist or you speculate. I always choose to be the protagonist and not to speculate.
I don't know if it makes sense to continue answering because I can continue giving you arguments for 10 minutes more and I would be repeating things I have already said, but you ask me a question I have answered before. I can't invent different answers. I feel bad saying what you have heard previously.
Of course, I acknowledge the last game was not just another game. Very far from playing how we try to play. The goals produced for a counter-attack, which is also a criticism the team receives. We evaluated this last goal, I am in total agreement this action unbalanced the game we had equal numerity (sic) defensively and that's to take advantage of a counter-attack.
As I am the main person who wants to know what our errors are, every chance we suffered, every goal we suffer, I classify it, position it with regards the different ways of perceiving danger. Long-distance shots, set-pieces, chances from throws in our own half, chances where play is built and also counter-attacks. Of all the chances we concede, the lowest is through counters. Of course it does not make sense for me to argue it, but I don't find another way of answering your question without going deep into these subjects of football.
Firpo is evolving quickly and well. I could not tell you how long he has left, but the next two games no. From Norwich he has chances of being back in the team.
Most difficult weeks for you at Leeds?
Yes, one of the most difficult. Perhaps there's been five or six, but this was among the most difficult. The complexity of the week prior to a game is evaluated depending on how far away we were in the last game. To play to our capabilities and how far away we were. At Southampton, the distance between what we were looking for and what we got was very far and that was deserved. For me, it was a very sad week, but in a parallel way when errors are made and I know the errors we made, I know they could have been avoided if I had managed more efficiently, so I have a lot of strength, energy and willingness to avoid what happened there again.
To come back from the situation, the process of lowering in the production is common to many activities. The first thing you do is to know why the thing you did not want to happen, happened. Discover and focus on the errors it's the first step to correction. If you don't recognise the errors, it's very difficult to correct. After taking on board these errors, to see if you have the resources not to commit them again, put it to the test during the week, the fortitude to avoid repeating. On this subject, the first step to take after playing badly is to avoid playing worse. When you play badly, there's always consequences within the game produced because you are playing badly. The first thing in a negative moment is to avoid the mistakes you make to play worse.
The second thing, that is very important, is every player feels any error he makes and produces negative consequences, knows it's not going to be singled out or made responsible for that error. The group will find a solution for that error. Playing badly makes you play worse and you avoid that. That is the first step to come back to equilibrium a team like Leeds has.
The function of a coach is what he proposes is carried out. As a result, the authority, the management, is essential. After you can impose these orders or convince. Any order within a team will last if it's done via convincing. The other reason important for being a coach is to discard defeat as an option. That's absurd. In football, you win, lose or draw. If you transmit defeat is painful it increases the fortitude to avoid it. Defeat is very difficult to tolerate. I try [to make the] the players feel the same way. I hope that gives us the energy to avoid it.
I want to remember this which has a lot of value, I told you how I manage, how I deal with bad form, but look at the resources at the opposite of this, but very efficient. I had to manage America (MEX) and I managed them after an extraordinary coach, Leo Beenhakker, a Dutch coach. To tell you what he achieved. They would win 7-0, 8-0, 9-0. I came after and always when I come after a great manager I ask how it was. What makes a manager big is how they manage the bad moments, not how they get to the good moments.
The great moments the players are exclusively responsible for. Bad moments demand management. I ask what he would do after a bad defeat. Immediately after he would tell everyone this game was very bad. From tomorrow we don't talk about this again. It's a process you can use to administer the adversity, through forgetting, but my idea is the opposite. Mine is the opposite. You have to look over the errors. Neither is the right way. Admitting you should bear in mind more what he says than me.
What is very clear is I can't do what he proposes because I feel it in a different way. It's not I think, it's I feel. My way of thinking and his are both valid. What you think when you have to transmit it becomes a feeling. Nobody convinces if they make up how they feel.
How all-consuming is this for you now?
There are people who need to do other things for clarity. I, in the adversity, don't have the capacity to do anything which generates pleasure for me. I dedicate myself in a balanced way to look over what [...]. Sadness and pleasure do not work in common for me. That's just the way I am and impossible to ask a player to be the same because you play 15 years, one time a week [...].
How different Wolves now to a few weeks ago in poor form?
There's a phrase I read not too long ago that says teams are made out of crystal. That it's difficult to make them solid, but they break from one day to another. Played our best game against Watford and the worst Southampton. More than whether the opponents were better or worse, teams change frequently. What is it that allows a loss of form for a team to recover quickly. The amount of work accumulated and fortitude spiritually from the group to accept the difficulties. There are groups, in the face of difficulties, they move away. They don't want to belong to something not in an attractive moment and others who come together to the place where they belong to. They make the max effort to modify the realities that affect their people, club and fans. The challenge for a coach in the adversity is to find this type of feeling.
What feeling did you transmit to your players this week?
It's what I have been explaining in these last 45 minutes. Commitment and not indifference. Responsibility and not passing over your responsibilities. Hope and faith before disappointment. I would have to repeat everything I have said up until now. I can't summarise my words in three lines. That's why I resist speaking in English. It's difficult to say what I think in Spanish and I would say a lot less in English.
Ability of this squad to take on what you try to transmit?
It does not matter too much what I think, but what you have been able to observe. I don't tell them to play well, bad or regular. For 50 games now, the team, that makes the most effort in the best league in the world, their commitment, their physical effort is linked to the willingness, so it's one of the few things you can demand. Origin comes from the mind. Efforts are not positioned to muscular energy, but in the mental capacity to activate. In the high competition, everyone has accumulated enough energy. What allows you to overcome limits is the mental strength to put in play what you possess. Nobody manages maximum expression they're not convinced with what they're doing. I always say it, that has nothing to do with any virtue I may have, but due to the essence of the British player. The British player has the capacity to maximise resources very, very high. Basque football, very similar. Basque football is very similar to English football.
Southampton first to outrun Leeds - sadden you?
It's one of the things I observed with worry.
What did you see of the body language of the players on the training fields, especially in the leaders?
After a defeat, dependent on the dimension of the defeat there's a process of pain and the immediate search for revenge to come back. Also think sometimes of those who are listening to us, there are expressions like we've said in this talk, there are a lot of fans who are connected with Leeds - they may find that acceptable what we are saying, in some way we feel the same as they do. But in another way I imagine so many people that live in the real world to talk about a defeat in the way that for example I am talking about it. It can be thought of as a scale of values and that is very big. There are people who ask you for a ticket to watch Leeds United because they have few days to live, imagine if you compare that loss to what we have been describing, it is proportionate in the evaluation.
What benefit do you see in Raphinha's Brazil performances for Leeds?
I think it's a logical process, it's inevitable that the steps Raphinha has been taking, they wouldn't take him to the place where he is now.