Alex McLeish fears Mateusz Klich’s Leeds United teammates may have to bail him out against Wolves as he struggles with a hip problem, according to Alex McLeish.
The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted “it doesn’t look good” to try and play through the pain barrier but insisted the midfielder had the experience to manage the situation.
Speaking to BBC Radio Leeds earlier this week, the 30-year-old revealed he had been struggling with a hip injury in recent weeks and admitted he had been taking painkillers to get through the games.
Marcelo Bielsa has since confirmed the Poland international, as well as Diego Llorente, would be available for Friday night’s game against Wolves.
But Kalvin Phillips and Rodrigo have been ruled out of the match through injury and Klich faces playing through the pain barrier again.
McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “If you don’t feel that you’re at your best sharpness-wise, it therefore leads to mental doubt and I definitely believe if you’re playing with an ongoing injury then it doesn’t look good for you, the individual and certainly it wouldn’t help the teammates.
“You can sometimes get away with a wee injury now and again because you’ve got 10 other guys you can rely on and if you’re experienced – and Klich at 30 is more experienced – you can kind of position themselves and manage it.
“He’s got the teammates that he can play the game simply and let them do the other stuff for him. That was kind of my feeling when I was playing through the pain barrier at times.”
📰 "Klich and Llorente are available. Phillips and Rodrigo are not." Marcelo on the squad ahead of Wolves pic.twitter.com/NdI668i3WI
— Leeds United (@LUFC) February 18, 2021
Klich told BBC Radio Leeds: “I had some struggles with my hip but it should be fine – I was on pain killers but it wasn’t that bad. It’s not something that is a very, very big issue but obviously, every little pain is just annoying.
“It doesn’t really help but that wasn’t the reason why I couldn’t play better. At the back of your head you always know there is something not 100 per cent right but it’s nothing big and it’s not an excuse.”