Marcelo Bielsa has passed the first test at Leeds; he has assembled a side capable of making an impact in the Championship.
His next objective is much more difficult; lasting the pace and making Leeds fans believe his side can last the pace.
The mental scars of so many years outside the Premier League, so many near misses, are clear for all to see. Leeds fans want so desperately for their team to be good, but refuse to believe it will last.
It all fell apart last season under Thomas Christiansen, Marcelo Bielsa must ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Forward Ezgjan Alioski is in no doubt that Bielsa has changed the mood and toughened Leeds up. He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I see a real difference. Last year when we won games, we won maybe 1-0 or 2-1 and we were a little lucky. This year we win 2-0, 4-1, 3-0 and you think ‘that really was a good performance.’
“This year I’m sure it can’t happen that we’ll lose two, three, four games in a row. I’m 100 per cent sure it will never happen.
“This coach has prepared us to show a reaction and when we don’t play very well, we get a good reaction in the next game. At Swansea we had some players who didn’t give a good performance. The next game at Norwich was unbelievable. Each player is focused to react. That’s why I’m sure.
“The coach gives us the mentality to think strong. The mentality before wasn’t like what we have now. It’s changed with all players.”
Promotion rests on belief
Leeds have shown they have the talent, playing style and the manager to cause real problems in the Championship.
Bielsa has apparently convinced the players that it will be different this time around; it’s time to bring the fans onside too.
A lack of unity and belief from everyone connected to the club would arguably be a bigger barrier to success than far-fetched fears about fatigue.