Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch feeding off ‘positive energy’ from his squad

Jesse Marsch’s first three weeks as Leeds United coach could have been very difficult, but he says the acceptance and “positive energy” he has had from his squad made it much easier.

After losing Marsch’s first two games in charge – terribly, in the case of his opening home match, against Aston Villa – the Whites signed off for the international break with two dramatic victories as much about their character as their football.

They bossed the game against Norwich City only to concede a stoppage-time equaliser, then came back to score a winner.

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At Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday, the first hour was disastrous, hapless defending and poor finishing leaving them 2-0 down at half-time, by which time three players had gone off injured, and Wolves had hit a post.

POSITIVE VIBES: Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch on the sidelines at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Goalkeeper Illan Meslier’s hip injury early in the second half – because Mateusz Klich had concussion, Leeds were permitted a fourth substitute – was a turning point, Raul Jimenez receiving a second booking for his challenge, Leeds rallying and Kristoffer Klaesson impressing on debut.

Another stoppage-time victory, secured by Luke Ayling’s goal, spoke volumes of Leeds’s character.

American Marsch has been delighted with the way they have responded to his methods, making the team more compact and direct, since replacing Marcelo Bielsa in late February.

“From day one they accepted me, none made fun of my accent like some of you (in the media),” he said, with a lingering laugh.

“I couldn’t ask more from their work, their application, their transformation. They had a coach that worked well with them, they could have been questioning, they have had a lot of issues in the last three weeks.

“All they’ve tried to do is commit fully to every single day.

“I’d heard from Victor (Orta, the sporting director) and Angus (Kinnear, chief executive) what good men they are, and the workers around the team are selfless. I could feel the positive energy from day one.

“The mentality in the group is strong, with everything they’ve been through it’s amazing. There’s more work to do, but we have to enjoy moments like this.

“We’ll get back to work, get better and continue to control our own destiny.”