DESPITE hearing that Marcelo Bielsa is likely to have sent a spy to monitor Middlesbrough’s training at Rockliffe Park earlier this season, Tony Pulis actually thinks the Leeds United boss is working wonders at Elland Road regardless of the “crazy” technique.

The Championship has been rocked by the revelations Bielsa has been sending members of the Leeds staff to deliver reports back to the Argentine in a bid to steer the club to promotion this season.

And with the Whites sitting four points clear at the top of the second tier after 27 matches, whatever the South American’s methods are they appear to have been working.

On Wednesday he held a press conference outlining the extent of the analysis he does on opponents, and Pulis was quick to point out that every manager now carries out that sort of work and has done for years – even if that stops short of spying.

But the Middlesbrough manager, who will be up against Leeds on February 9 in a game that could have a big bearing on the promotion race, was impressed with Bielsa when they met earlier in the campaign and the two sides drew 0-0 at Elland Road.

“I sat there for an hour after the game,” said Pulis. “He was fantastic. He had an interpreter there, he spoke a bit of broken English himself. We had a beer, he wanted to know certain things, he was very inquisitive about things. He was good company.

“That’s the only time I’ve ever met him and I speak as I find, he was OK. It is interesting to see what the FA say about it, those people in those glass houses ...”

When he was asked if he saw a Leeds spy at Rockliffe earlier in the campaign he replied with “I don’t care” and then followed that up by saying he couldn’t remember. He also thinks Bielsa could be cleverer than people are suggesting in his efforts to lead Leeds to the Premier League.

“When they go out on the football pitch, it’s different,” said Pulis. “That’s why I say Bielsa might just be being clever here and pulling everything away from what he’s really got, a very good team on the pitch.”

He added: “It is ridiculous that someone turns up with a Leeds tracksuit, a pair of binoculars and a wire cutter at Derby’s training ground. That’s absolutely ridiculous, almost laughable, too ridiculous really to talk about.

“The FA, Leeds, Bielsa have all got to stand up and decide what will happen. It will be interesting to see what happens because Shaun Harvey, who was the chief executive at Leeds, is now at the Football League, to see how that spins. An Interesting couple of weeks ahead.”

Pulis leads his Middlesbrough team into battle against Millwall at the Riverside Stadium today and he is desperate to see home improvements.

While Middlesbrough have only won two of their last nine matches on Teesside turf, they have started the New Year with four points from two league games against promotion rivals and progressed in the FA Cup.

And he has outlined how hard Middlesbrough work behind the scenes to deliver reports on their opponents, after a week when Bielsa felt it necessary to get up in front of media conference to explain his methods in trying to deliver a result.

Pulis said: “I have always had two analysts who have worked consistently after games. One will work on the next game and the other will work on the following game.

“I am not going to stand up in front of a board and tell everyone what I do or don’t do, but I spent ten years in the Premier League squeezing the pips out of every sinew that I had or other players had, to keep us in the Premier League.