Jesse Marsch takes heart from Leeds United progress as players are left frustrated by 0-0 draw with Brentford

Jesse Marsch was happy his Leeds United team are "heading in the right direction" rather than sharing his players’ disappointment at another Premier League game without a win.

It is November 5 – although in this disjointed season that is only six matches ago – since the Whites last tasted victory in the league.

They had the chance with a dominant performance against often under-rated Brentford, but had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

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That was a frustration for the dressing room but not, said their coach, for him.

"The group is disappointed because they really felt they played well and they wanted to be rewarded with the points but I've been really focusing on the performances, the tactical clarity, the individual confidence and for me it's very clear we're moving in the right direction," he said.

"We have a few moments where we have a little bit of an advantage in the attacking third and maybe we're a clever little combination or a cleaner quality in the last third from getting three points.

"But we were very stable defensively on set pieces and it was a strong performance from a lot of individuals so it was a big positive.

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"The group is coming together, there's momentum and I know it doesn't necessarily feel so strong because we're not having a bunch of wins lined up in a row but this is a little bit what the league is and where we're at.

PLEASED: Leeds United coach Jesse Marsch during the 0-0 draw with BrentfordPLEASED: Leeds United coach Jesse Marsch during the 0-0 draw with Brentford
PLEASED: Leeds United coach Jesse Marsch during the 0-0 draw with Brentford

"The best part is when I look all of our men in the eye in the dressing room, they know it's coming together, they know we're getting better and we're going to be a good team."

Marsch has been saying for some time he feels his team is on the cusp of a big improvement in results and the fact the board have been so patient during a run of just two league wins since August suggest they feel the same. Sunday reinforced his view.

"It's just clear," he insisted. "When you're in this business you know what you're looking at. For me, for 10 months it's been about trying to get the group so we're really starting to push real momentum and to feel like on the inside there's clarity, belief, confidence and understanding.

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"It's taken a long time but now we feel it and I think it's going to continue from here."

With Liam Cooper missing with a minor but persistent muscle injury, Max Wober and Robin Koch were paired together in the centre of defence for the first time and impressed, particularly during a first half before Leeds took control.

"I would say both of them growing up in either Germany (Koch) or Austria (Wober) have had a really good formation in terms of understanding tactical responsibility and nuances," said Marsch. "Both are very intelligent players.

"I knew that about Max before he came, he's special that way – very intelligent, very clear with exactly what his role is – and he's fitted in seamlessly.

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"Both of them had very strong performances and that was a big reason why we were able to keep the clean sheet."

On Cooper's issue, the coach explained: "He has a little bit of the same injury he had last season when he got hurt in the warm-up before the match against Man City. It's just a minor muscle injury in his knee which we kind of felt would recover faster than it has.

"On Saturday we tried to get him going in training and he didn't feel right so we just made the decision not to go with him.

"I think this week he should be back in training."

When Leeds looked in need of a little push over the finishing line, Marsch decided against handing £35m striker Georginio Rutter a debut, instead using Luis Sinisterra, Patrick Bamford and Sam Greenwood from the bench.

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"We thought about it," admitted Marsch. "I just want to integrate him the right way and I felt like the guys up the field, Willy (Gnonto) was close to pulling off a play, I thought Jack (Harrison)'s performance was really strong.

"When you have new players, you always want to set them up to succeed so I just decided maybe we wait one more week until we unleash him."

Brentford manager Thomas Frank partly backed up Marsch's assertions with his glowing assessment.

"I need to give credit to Leeds," he insisted. "Leeds have a very good team, Jesse and his staff are doing a very good job. They play with great intensity and are very front-footed.

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"Either we didn't put two, three, four passes to play through the pressure or when we decided to play in behind – which we did more often than not because that's a way to beat the high pressure – we didn't pick up enough second balls.

"That said, I think it was a really solid away performance.

"We defended really well and gave almost nothing away. I think almost the only big chance was to Gnonto, the rest we were fairly in control of, we defend well in a low block.

"I think we learned from the defeats we had against Villa and Newcastle. When it's not working, you get a point and a clean sheet.

"We had four or five very dangerous moments in the second half when we need to do better to create a key moment.

"But this is a very difficult place to play. Leeds gave everything, my players gave everything and it was a fantastic battle where the two teams cancelled each other out."