Jesse Marsch tells Leeds United substitutes they need to pull their weight as 'arsenal' expands

As Leeds United build up what Jesse Marsch calls "an arsenal of weapons", some top players are going to have to get used to coming off the bench, but the coach has reassured them that makes them no less important.

The American has told fans to expect club record signing Georginio Rutter on the bench for Sunday's Premier League visit of Brentford, but even with him out of the equation and with Crysencio Summerville injured, he has decisions to make.

Willy Gnonto, Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo all scored in Wednesday's FA Cup win over Cardiff City and with the Whites having usually fielded a front three since they returned from the World Cup, there is a case for that being it.

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Marsch has said that he would have no qualms about playing Rodrigo, Bamford and the versatile Rutter – all primarily centre-forwards – as an attacking trident in future too.

SUB STANDARDS: Leeds United coach Jesse MarschSUB STANDARDS: Leeds United coach Jesse Marsch
SUB STANDARDS: Leeds United coach Jesse Marsch

But Jack Harrison was outstanding as a creator in that game, when fellow winger Luis Sinisterra made his long-awaited return from injury.

Brenden Aaronson has looked like a player who could benefit from a rest, but is a firm favourite of Marsch's.

All the competition for places is expected to see exciting young forward Joe Gelhardt return to his former club Wigan Athletic on loan this month, but he trained with the squad on Friday, and remains an option for now.

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So whatever team Leeds go for, it should mean some high-qaulity options on the bench. Marsch has been hammering home the message that they are not there to make up the numbers.

"It's important every player understands that whether he's starting or coming from the bench, every minute of any performance is vital," stressed Marsch.

"Guys have to be ready to perform at the highest level and push at 100 per cent in every match. Then we can really have a mentality to push games more and more as we go.

"We've had a little bit of that discussion already and all the players are clear on that.

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"Of course every player wants to play every minute but in order to sustain the way we want to play over 90 minutes and an entire season, the ability to use an entire squad is really important."

The in-form Gnonto has started every game since the World Cup, a run for a 19-year-old which might have some modern-day managers thinking about giving him a rest, but it is not how Marsch sees it.

"My goal with young players is to help accelerate their learning curve and I find once it clicks a little bit and they make the sharp upturn in performance, they're in a position where they can sustain a lot of the things they've learned," he said.

"Trying to manage them physically with what the matches are like is one of the important things about being on top of the match from the beginning against Cardiff, it meant we could give Willy and Tyler Adams a little bit more rest.

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"That should give those guys a little bit more ability to regenerate and go at a high level for this one."

Leeds certainly have more depth in forward options than at any time since their previous spell in the Premier League.

"I'm thankful to our ownership that we've invested so heavily to try and improve our team," said Marsch who has also added defender Max Wober this month.

"I like players who have weapons and now we have an arsenal of players who have real weapons.

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"I tend to think players need to have flexibility, we can call a system one thing but it can work in a different way and we can maximise the quality of each player. I could imagine us starting with Patrick, Georgie and Rodrigo.

"I think it will naturally take (Rutter) a little bit of time but just like with Max Wober, we're not waiting forever for him to acclimatise.

"But he's intelligent, he understands a lot of the aspects."

Leeds are expected to welcome back a number of players who missed the midweek win with minor injuries but remain without Adam Forshaw as they look to get him out of a cycle of injuries.

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"He had an injection (recently) to help fortify things," explained Marsch.

"He's had a lot of visits to the doctors to try to identify exactly what's happening and one of the things everyone feels needs to be addressed is just strengthening the area.

"Part of that makes sense because he's been out for a while.

"We're trying to put him in a situation where it's not cyclical and he's constantly battling getting back on the pitch and instead getting him to a strong place where he can perform at his best.

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"It's meant that we've taken a little bit of a step back and worked more on some of his strength, infrastructure and mobility so he can have a better chance of getting himself to top fitness."

Meanwhile, Leeds' FA Cup fourth-round tie at Boreham Wood or Accrington Stanley will be shown live on the BBC, it has now been confirmed.

With no thought for supporters who will not discover where the game is being played until the sides replay on Tuesday evening, the match will kick off at 12.30pm on Saturday, January 28.