Noel Whelan has hailed the small things Marcelo Bielsa does that endear him to his Leeds United squad.
The former Whites hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, reacted to recent comments from Patrick Bamford about a funny behind the scenes moment.
Bamford told the Official Leeds United podcast about how Bielsa joined the squad in ridiculing the new hairstyle Ezgjan Alioksi showed off ahead of the recent game against Liverpool.
He said, “Even the manager tried to make a joke about it – it was really long-winded.
“It was about had he dyed his hair that colour as he had an older girlfriend who was 60. I didn’t quite get it but of course the whole group laughed.”
Whelan claims these little moments work wonders for Bielsa’s man management style and makes players want to play for him.
“When it’s game time, it’s game time. You should have your game heads on, simple as that,” Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“There’s no talking, you’re fully focused and that’s what Marcelo is, you can see that in him. Even after the game he’s focused and fully respectful to everybody else.
“He’s a joy to have, you’ve seen that video on YouTube of Bamford scoring in training and Bielsa runs the length of the pitch to celebrate with him.
“These are the small things that make you want to play for a manager, the small things that bring that friendship and trust together, that man management.
“When we see his playful side it’s endearing, we love it, and that’s exactly what we love about him.”
Bielsa has now spent more time at Leeds than any other club he has managed in his long career.
He has guided the Whites to Premier League safety on their return to the top flight and he could even secure an impressive top 10 finish.