Leicester v Leeds: Jesse Marsch will take any pressure - and support Patrick Bamford

JESSE MARSCH may find himself under rather less pressure than his under-fire Leicester City counterpart Brendan Rodgers ahead of tonight’s game - but in the Premier League, one thing is for sure.

It is usually your turn at some stage. Unless you are Pep Guardiola.

So far this season, Rodgers has been under more scrutiny than anyone following a poor start to the campaign. Across the Midlands, Aston Villa's Steven Gerrard and Nottingham Forest's Steve Cooper have also been feeling the heat, while Bruno Lage has already been shown the door at Wolves.

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It will not be lost on anyone of a Leeds persuasion that they are also doing it tough at the minute and are without a win in six matches.

Marsch accepts that handling intense scrutiny will always be part of the territory in the top-flight, more especially at a 24/7 club like Leeds and he is happy to take the pressure and keep it away from his players.

The Leeds head coach said: “Obviously there is always pressure. There’s a lot of attention that’s paid on this club and this league. And we know the responsibility that we have, I know responsibility I have.

"Actually, this responsibility to help his team be successful is almost entirely my job and I don’t think of it that way. I think of it as a group project, but I don’t want them to feel extra pressure about that we need an absolute result must win moment right now in our lives.

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"It’s more about continue to believe, do the extra little things, put even a little bit more into the preparation, focus a little bit harder, be a little bit smarter, be a little bit clearer and that’s the only way I know how to really get something clicking and moving in the right direction.

Jesse Marsch.Jesse Marsch.
Jesse Marsch.

"I believe we’re really close. We’re on the cusp of that happening.”

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Leicester was the venue for Marsch's first match in charge, an unlucky 1-0 loss in March.

Should Leeds require inspiration, it should arrive from their previous visit, a stunning 3-1 win in January 2021.

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That remains the last time that they came from behind on their travels to win a league fixture. It was also noteworthy for a splendid goal for Patrick Bamford, at a time when he was in full bloom.

His last game proved very problematic by marked contrast. Chances came and chances went.

Marsch retains confidence that one positive contribution can prove the catalyst for an upturn for Bamford, yet to find the net in 2022.

He continued: "Of course, for goalscorers, almost all they think about is scoring goals. And I’m challenging Patrick to continue to grow into the type of striker that we need. And I’ve said for a couple of weeks now that we think he could be part of the solution.

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"And I also said, my experience of being around strikers is if they’re not getting chances, it’s much more concerning than if they’re getting chances and not scoring.

"He’s getting chances in bunches and his talent is so high that it’s only a matter of time before those start to go his way and when they do then we could start to see a total change in momentum in him and for us.

"I think Thursday could be a catalyst for that and for him for the rest of the season.”

Last six games: Leicester LLLWLD; Leeds LDLDLL.

Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside).

Last time: Leicester 1 Leeds 0, March 5, 2022; Premier League.