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‘We now have better positions’; ‘happy’ forward reveals how Leeds have moved on from Bielsa

Jesse Marsch Leeds United 2022 TEAMtalk1

Rodrigo has hailed the impact of Jesse Marsch on Leeds fortunes and hinted that he wants to remain at the club for the long term.

Marsch arrived on February 28, a day after Marcelo Bielsa’s three-and-a-half-year stint had ended. The Argentinian’s sacking shocked the Elland Road faithful as he had become a cult hero at the West Yorkshire club. But, as the oft-used phase goes, football is a results-based game and Leeds were on a dreadful run of form.

They had lost eight off 11 games and sat close to the relegation zone. And it was not just the results but the margin of defeat that was hard for fans to take.

A 6-0 loss at Liverpool was followed by a 4-0 home thrashing by Tottenham and the board felt they had to take action. Marsch’s name had been mentioned as a possible successor before the South American’s departure.

And they wasted little time in unveiling the American. Leeds lost their first two games under the new boss to Leicester and Aston Villa.

Signs of life at Elland Road

But victory over Norwich was followed by a sensational 3-2 comeback triumph over Wolves. That result left the club seven points above the drop zone and with a bit of breathing space.

Marsch has tried to tighten things while promoting Rodrigo to a leadership role. And the 31-year-old feels the alterations have made a real difference.

Rodrigo Leeds United 2022 TEAMtalk1

“It’s not just my role, with Marcelo we played a different style, this man v man marking and of course we didn’t have a kind of position in the field because we were always trying to search for our man and follow him everywhere,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“Now I think the team is playing a completely different way, we have better positions on the field, doing the zonal marking that almost every team in the world does.

“I think we can manage our efforts better, save energy for the important moments. It doesn’t matter if it’s defending or attacking. I think the collective idea is getting better, it’s improving the group.”

Rodrigo loving the Leeds life

Leeds signed Rodrigo from Valencia in the summer of 2020, paying around £27m for his signature. The Spain international has enjoyed 49 top-flight outings and 34 starts for Leeds to date, scoring 12 goals.

He is under contract until the summer of 2024 but hinted he may remain beyond that date.

“The future you never know but my idea is to stay here,” he added. “I’m really happy with the club, my family are really happy living here in England, my daughter and my wife.

“I feel an important part of this club, my team-mates made me feel like this, everyone who works for the club. I think I’ve created a really good relationship with everyone here. You never know what’s going to happen.

“Of course when the summer comes everyone is going away, everyone is coming in, we don’t have games so we have to keep speaking about something and I understand that’s part of football as well, I accept this, but if you’re asking me – I’m really happy here.”

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