Marcelo Bielsa delivers his verdict on Kiko Casilla for his part in Leeds’ FA Cup humiliation by Crawley

Marcelo Bielsa during Leeds’ lose to Crawley (Image: PA)

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Marcelo Bielsa claims he still backs Kiko Casilla after he was made the fans’ scapegoat for Leeds’ FA Cup humiliation against Crawley.

Casilla has come under fire from some supporters because the former Real Madrid goalkeeper was at fault for two of League Two Crawley’s goals in the 3-0 defeat.

Bielsa is dismayed by Casilla’s treatment and insists everyone at the club still believes in the Spaniard, who lost his place as No 1 last season following his eight-match ban for racist abuse.

“I fully trust in Kiko and I will do the utmost possible to help him,” said the Leeds boss.

“I think that the treatment Kiko has suffered ignores the fact he is a player who played 40 games for Real Madrid.

Marcelo Bielsa has strongly defended Kiko Casilla
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)

“Apart from whether his performances were good or bad, we forget all the things he did to help the team get promoted, and people also don’t consider how he has been treated publicly.

“Given the situation he had to go through when he was suspended for eight games and what he had to go through during this period.

“I believe in him, his teammates believe in him, and we are close to him because we value him as a person and as a footballer. We care about him a lot as a human being.”

Bielsa dismissed any suggestion that he should promote Italian rookie Elia Caprile above him to become Leeds’ second-choice keeper.

Kiko Casilla has lost the support of some Leeds fans
(Image: Getty Images)

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“If someone says Caprile would should be in goal ahead of Casilla, they ignore Casilla’s career and everything he has suffered from his eight-game suspension up to now,” said the Argentinian.

“He’s a player who every day in training is serious, who played 40 games for Real Madrid, one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“Yet people say he can be replaced by someone who has not played one senior minute for us.”

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