Frank Lampard insists Leeds United deserve to achieve promotion this season, despite the controversy surrounding ‘Spy-Gate’.
The Whites were hit with a £200,000 fine, but avoided a points deduction after admitting to spying on every team they have faced this season.
The incident was sparked by Derby County calling the police over a person with binoculars watching Frank Lampard’s side train the day before the two teams met in a Championship clash at Elland Road.
Leeds were also warned to not repeat their behaviour, which breached EFL regulation 3.4 stating clubs must behave in ‘utmost good faith’ towards their fellow teams.
However, Lampard has since softened his stance on the matter – maintaining it is not within the etiquette of the game, but refusing to be drawn into criticising Bielsa further.
He said on Drive: “The facts remain the same, we had to stop our training session and Leeds have obviously gone on and said that it happens regularly – which is fair play actually and it’s been dealt with.
“I’m passionate about the job I am doing and the work here I am doing and so when a day before going into the game, sort of in good faith, trying to work you’re team and we were working on team shape when the police came.
“It happened very quickly – I don’t want to be a cry baby about that moment in itself. Just as a manager, personally I felt that’s something which is a bit sacred.
“Working, in detail, about the game tomorrow and that’s just how I felt.
“I know it got so many legs in the end and it ran away with itself so I tried to sort of step away from it even though I got asked in every press conference. But then it got dealt with.
“I think it’s something, in my view, which shouldn’t go on again. I think the punishment was more than enough and I was never there asking for points to be taken off Leeds.”
The Chelsea legend may well be chasing promotion to the Premier League with Derby this season, but was gracious enough to admit Leeds deserved to up regardless of their prior indiscretions.
With just six games remaining of this Championship season, Lampard can see only two teams making the automatic promotion spots.
“I think actually Leeds are a fantastic team this year and Bielsa is a fantastic manager,” he added. “And the way it’s going, them and Norwich are the outstanding teams in the league at this minute and the ones that will deserve promotion – ‘Spygate’ or no ‘Spygate’.
LATEST EFL NEWS
Frank Lampard hails Ashley Cole impact, tips Mason Mount for the top
Frank Lampard tells talkSPORT he was 'shocked' by Darren Moore sacking
Bolton players finally paid February wages as takeover 'to be completed this week'
Marceloa Bielsa sleeps at Leeds' training ground and calls Guardiola constantly
TOP VS BOTTOM
Reading vs Leeds live on talkSPORT 2: Full coverage from the Madejski
WWE legend Mick Foley’ visits Billy Sharp's house for breakfast
Every Championship club's year-on-year performance
Leeds United and West Ham in transfer battle for teenage midfielder
“I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it that it is an absolute game-changer.
“It was just one those of those managerial things – everyone is very intense on their tactics and how they can get a small edge.
“And I just thought it was something that wasn’t quite right in the etiquette of how we work.”