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Kalvin Phillips issues clear response to recent Marcelo Bielsa claims at Leeds United

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It seems there is in fact no rift between Kalvin Phillips and Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United.

That’s after the midfielder moved to dismiss claims of a falling out between him and his manager at Elland Road following Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Saturday’s draw with Brighton featured a series of rather unusual events for Phillips. Having started the game at centre back, the midfielder was then substituted at half time in game.

With Bielsa revealing after that match that Phillips’ withdrawal had been tactical rather than fitness related, that had led to some suggestions of a rift between the two.

However, the England international returned to his more natural midfield position on Tuesday night, and played the full 90 minutes of Tuesday’s win over Palace.

After that game, Phillips was then quick to move to play down those claims of a bust up between himself and Bielsa.

Speaking about those suggestions in his post match interview with Amazon Prime Sport, the 25-year-old said: “I will play any position the manager asks me. If he wants me to play centre-back I will play centre-back, if he wants me to play goalkeeper I’ll play goalkeeper.

“As long as I am playing, I’m not bothered. There’s been a lot of talk about me and the manager falling out but there’s never been such a thing.

“I respect him so much, I would never fall out with him. When people are saying that, you kind of get the fans thinking something’s not right, but that’s not the case so I just want to put that one to bed.”

On the importance of issuing that clarification, Phillips added: “I feel like I needed to, to be honest. I’ve seen a lot of things on social media and on TV saying that me and the manager have a falling out.

“But it’s never been the case so I just wanted to put it to bed and get it over with now.”

This will surely be a huge relief for those of a Leeds United persuasion.

The club are not in the best position in the league table at the minute, and Phillips and Bielsa are two people who will be key to them improve their standing.

You feel it is key therefore, that both have a strong relationship with the other, in order to get the best out of both them, and it seems they do still have that judging by this.

Indeed, you feel you also have to credit Phillips for coming out here, and making this as clear as he did with these comments.

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UCLan Sports Journalism graduate. Have been working for Leeds All Over since summer 2020, and can only be found writing on Football League World.