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Bielsa pleased with progress as improving Leeds set Championship pace

Marcelo Bielsa hailed the continued improvement of his Leeds side after they cemented their position at the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-0 victory at Wigan.

A goal in either half from Patrick Bamford was enough to see off a Wigan side who played for 70 minutes a man down after Joe Williams was sent off for two bookable offences.

And the West Yorkshire side could and perhaps should have won by more, with Wigan goalkeeper David Marshall making a couple of fine saves to keep the score down.

“It was a fair result, we deserved to win,” said Leeds boss Bielsa.

“Yes we could have scored more goals, playing with a player more, we could have shown a little bit more.

“But we played with a lot of calmness and I was happy with the performance.

“The performance of the team is increasing game by game, which is pleasing.

Bielsa was particularly delighted with his two-goal match-winner Bamford for twice being in the right place at the right time.

“For a striker, scoring goals is always going to be important,” Bielsa added.

“It’s going to be a major positive for him and also for the team. Bamford is a player with a big personality, and to score two goals is obviously going to be exciting for him.”

Wigan manager Paul Cook was far from happy with the performance of referee Andy Madley as the Latics slumped to their third successive defeat in league and cup.

Cook, who was shown his second yellow card in three league games after making one too many comments in the direction of the official late on, had no argument with Williams’ dismissal – for clipping Stuart Dallas and then reacting badly to a Leeds foul – but was not impressed with the referee’s overall handling of the game.

“It’s always going to be a tough game when you play Leeds, they’re such a strong team who ask so many questions of you,” he said.

“Big decisions will always influence the outcome of games.

“Are we aggrieved at the sending off? No. I did think it was a second yellow, without a doubt.

“But are we aggrieved with the decision just before, when (Kalvin) Phillips commits a very similar foul, and no yellow? Yes, we are.

“All we’re asking for as managers is for referees to show consistency in a game – that’s all we’re asking for.

“Has the referee cost us the game today? That’s up for debate, because Joe deserved his red card.

“To play against Leeds with 10 men is very, very tough, because they’re obviously going to have a very strong season.

“All we are asking for is consistency because, when you get a yellow card for one tackle and no yellow card for the same tackle, managers are going to feel aggrieved.

“I’m not aggrieved at the result at all. I am aggrieved at the referee’s performance.”

Bielsa refused to get involved with the debate.

“Today was a very difficult game to referee,” the Argentinian said.

“Once he has sent off one player, it becomes an even harder game to referee.”