West Ham boss David Moyes has leapt to the defence of Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa and says he always knew he was special.

West Ham entertain Leeds today for an all-Premier League clash in the third round of the FA Cup at the London Stadium.

Leeds boss Bielsa – who was once interviewed for the West Ham job before the club appointed Slaven Bilic, has come under increasing scrutiny and pressure this season.

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The Elland Road club are struggling to emulate their excellent form of last season when they won plenty of admirers with a unique, swashbuckling style on their long-awaited return to the top flight.

Bielsa is famed for his style of play and refuses to compromise it no matter what the situation or opposition.

But rather than be admired for sticking to his values and principles, many pundits have accused Bielsa of being naive and inflexible.

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West Ham boss David Moyes leaps to the defence of Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa and says he always knew he was special

Ahead of what is a cup and league double with West Ham over the next seven days, Moyes has defended his colleague and says he always knew Bielsa was special.

“I’ve admired him for so long,” Moyes said in his pre-match press conference (whufc.com).

“I used to watch his teams when he was at Atletic Bilbao and I watched them when they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford.

“I just think he’s unique. There are a lot of things he does which are different.

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“And I think the Premier League needs different styles, different managers, different systems, and I think he brings that and an excitement with the way they play. Leeds have been a really good watch over the last two or three years.

“You need to play very well against Leeds United. The manager’s done a good job over time, and every game against Leeds is full-tilt. It’s one end to the other, so we need to try and make sure when we get to their end, we score more goals than they do.”

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Gushing praise from Moyes for the man he comes up against in the opposite dugout today.

Leeds will be fine in the Premier League this season. They have been seriously impacted by injuries this season and once they have everyone fit will win more often than they lose.

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