Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa insisted he was at fault for the loss against Manchester United as his side prepare to face Everton.
Leeds ran out 5-1 losers on the opening day at Old Trafford, though they will take confidence that they have only lost their first home top-flight game once in the last 16 seasons.
While the Whites struggled against United, Bielsa feels it is he who must improve ahead of Everton’s visit, while also understanding he needs to lift the spirits among his camp.
“Of course, the self-esteem and enthusiasm decreases after a defeat like the one we suffered at the weekend,” Bielsa said.
“But you have to understand what the responsibility of the manager is. All the things that I tried that the team had against a great opponent, we didn’t manage to put into practice.
“When you coach a team with players who are so generous, so identified and so professional, then the coach does not manage to achieve what he is looking for then it is the fault of the manager and not of the players.”
In contrast, Everton’s new manager Rafael Benitez started positively, the Toffees overturning an early deficit to defeat Southampton 3-1 in their opener.
“When a new manager comes in, you need some time to put your ideas in the heads of the players and understanding of what you want to do but we can’t complain,” Benitez said.
“I’m really pleased with the attitude of the players. My priority is my team. We are trying to be sure we continue progressing and doing things in our way.
The former Liverpool boss also revealed Moise Kean, who enjoyed a loan spell with Paris Saint-Germain last term, will return for selection up top.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Leeds United – Raphinha
Raphinha scored in both games against Everton last season – the only Whites player to score in three consecutive appearances against Everton in all competitions is Peter Lorimer between November 1975 and January 1978.
Everton – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Everton front man Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored 17 goals in the Premier League since the start of last season – the only English player to have netted more in this period is Harry Kane (23).
KEY OPTA FACTS
·Both league meetings between Leeds and Everton were won by the away team last season, with Leeds winning 1-0 at Goodison Park and Everton winning 2-1 at Elland Road. Prior to this, the away side had won just one of the previous 27 top-flight meetings between the teams.
·Everton registered a 2-1 Premier League victory at Elland Road against Leeds last season, while the Toffees are looking to win consecutive away league games against Leeds for the first time ever in what is their 54th such visit.
·Everton have kept a clean sheet in six of their last eight Premier League away games, though they did lose 5-0 in their last such match. However, the Toffees have also failed to score in four of their last six on the road in the competition.
·Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds won their final two games at Elland Road in the Premier League last season (3-1 v Spurs and West Brom) and will be looking to record three consecutive home wins in the top-flight for the first time since August 2001 under David O’Leary (a run of five).
·Everton manager Rafael Benítez has won all three of his previous away games against Leeds in all competitions, with each victory coming in charge of a different club – September 2009 with Liverpool (League Cup), December 2012 with Chelsea (League Cup) and November 2016 with Newcastle (Championship).