Leeds United

Leeds United


Jesse Marsch reacts to replacing ‘hero’ Bielsa at Leeds in promise to Elland Road faithful

Leeds United manager target Jesse Marsch

New Leeds head coach Jesse Marsch admits he has “a lot to prove” but has backed himself to win over a fanbase still reeling from the departure of the revered Marcelo Bielsa.

Marsch becomes only the second American to take charge of a Premier League club, following Bob Bradley at Swansea in 2016, after he was named successor to Bielsa, sacked after three-and-a-half highly successful years at the helm.

Owner Andrea Radrizzani insisted he had acted to “secure” Leeds’ hard-earned top-flight status and the club have swiftly appointed a successor, with Marsch signing a deal running to June 2025, pending international clearance.

A two-time winner of the Austrian Bundesliga with Red Bull Salzburg, Marsch last coached at RB Leipzig, whom he left after just 21 games in December, and the 48-year-old believes he can build on what Bielsa has achieved.

“I think almost every job I’ve had, I’ve followed a club legend,” Marsch said on LUTV. “There’s massive challenges to that. I have a lot to prove to our fanbase that I’m the right guy to follow such a hero like Marcelo Bielsa.

“But I think the key is when they see the team play and they play with passion, heart and they show that they’re also intelligent and clear with the playing model and they’re aggressive, then the fans will tolerate the coach even if they don’t like his accent or if he’s not as popular as the previous coach.

Marsch reveals Bielsa respect

“My respect and admiration for Marcelo Bielsa is massive. How he’s helped transform Leeds United into a Premier League team is pretty amazing.

“Everything that’s been done has laid an incredible foundation. Coming into this moment I just want to try to do everything I can to help take the club into the next phase of our history.”

Leeds are two points and two places above the drop zone but, with key players due to return from injury in the coming weeks, unhappy supporters wanted Bielsa, the man who restored their Premier League place after a 16-year exile, to see the job through.

Radrizzani saw things differently, though, and made the change. Now Marsch is the man enlisted to lead a charge away from the bottom three.

Jesse Marsch Leeds United (pic from LUFC)

“I think I was identified by the club as a good follow-up to what Marcelo has created,” Marsch added.

“I think my style of play, my aggressiveness, the desire I have for teams to be intensive and to run and to make things difficult for the opponent fits with what has been done over the last three-and-a-half years.

“It will be a big challenge to do it in a short period of time. I’ll make sure we evolve in a way that can be successful for what the future may bring but do it now.

“I have to really identify how to do the important and simple things right away. And then build complexity as we continue to move forward.”

READ MORE: Antonio Conte reveals ‘hurt’ at sacking of Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa