Marcelo Bielsa claims he has not fallen out with Kalvin Phillips - but insists the Leeds idol is not untouchable.

Leeds fans feared the pair have had a spat because Bielsa hauled Phillips off at half-time in Saturday’s goalless draw with Brighton.

Bielsa made the controversial change because he felt Pascal Phillips would do better in the centre-half role he had given the England midfielder and says no player is too big to be taken off.

“It’s very difficult to imagine that a player can never come out, can never be substituted from a team,” said the Leeds head coach.

“The logic of football shows that that in any game, any player can come off.

Kalvin Phillips was used out of position at centre-half by Marcelo Bielsa

“It can’t be that a coach is conditioned that one player can’t come off and if he does, it’s thought of as something.

“The explanation I gave is what I thought that Pascal was better suited in the second half to the defensive position I imagined than Phillips.

“That does not mean I was correct, I just did what I thought was best.

“In no way does that mean there is a difficulty with anyone. It’s never good for a player or a team to think that the positions are unmovable and that the hierarchies in the team cannot be altered ever.

“That’s not only bad for the player who is untouchable, it’s bad for those who want to alter the positions in the team.

Was Marcelo Bielsa right to take Kalvin Phillips off at half time? Comment here

“It would be bad for Kalvin to think he would never be substituted or any other component of the team to think the hierarchies could not be changed.

“The position of the team is that you compete with the opponents and also the players in your team.”

BIelsa says Phillips is available for Tuesday’s clash with Crystal Palace at Elland Road and insists he did not substitute him because he felt he is performing below his best.

“No, I don’t think he’s below his level,” he said. “Of course, every game has its characteristics, its themes.

“There are times when the characteristics of the game in the mind of the coach is to imagine a different option for the same function.

“I don’t link that to his individual performance, whether it was high or low. It was to look for a more efficient collective organisation with different characteristics for the execution of the same function.

“I don’t see Kalvin with any substantial difference.”

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