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‘We watch everyone’: Leeds coach’s admission as ‘Spygate’ deepens

London: Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa says his staff had been watching all the club's opponents in training this season, after the English Football League launched a formal investigation into the "spygate" controversy.

"In a few words I can tell you we observed all the rivals we played against and we watched all the training sessions of the opponents before we played against them," Bielsa told reporters on Wednesday.

Manager Marcelo Bielsa says his staff have routinely watched their opponents train.Credit:AP

The 63-year-old former Athletic Bilbao coach said what he had done was not illegal and maintained that gathering information on opponents was "professional behaviour".

Using Derby as an example, Bielsa showed a presentation to the media on the number of formations Lampard's side had used, as well as the formations they struggled against, this season.

"We feel guilty if we don't work enough, it [watching the opponents train] allows us to have less anxiety and in my case I am stupid enough to allow this kind of behaviour," he added.

"As Lampard says, he doesn't believe I have bad intentions.

"He believes I violated the fair play spirit so I have to adapt to the rules and habits of English football."

Leeds, who in their heyday were three-time winners of the English top flight as well as lifting the FA Cup and League Cup, have apologised to Derby and reminded Bielsa of the club's principles of "integrity and honesty".

Bielsa, who replaced the sacked Paul Heckingbottom at the start of the season, has been a revelation at Leeds.

Leeds, four points clear at the top of the table after 27 matches, visit 15th-placed Stoke City on Saturday.

Reuters

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