Leeds United will enjoy the first few games under Jesse Marsch but consistency will prove difficult to achieve, according to West Ham star Michail Antonio.
The Whites have appointed former RB Leipzig boss Marsch following the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa. Leeds showed great reluctance in sacking their legendary manager, but results showed no signs of improving.
As a result, it is down to American coach Marsch to turn the tide at Elland Road. He moves to West Yorkshire with Leeds in a relegation battle.
They sit 16th in the Premier League but Everton and Burnley below them have games in hand. Furthermore, they have crucial matches against Norwich, Watford and Brentford to come.
Leeds host Norwich at Elland Road in three games’ time. Before then, they play Leicester away and Aston Villa at home.
According to Antonio, whose West Ham have survived relegation scares in recent seasons, Marsch will get off to a flyer. However, the striker warned that a difficult run of results could soon follow.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Antonio told the Footballer’s Football Podcast of Leeds’ run-in.
“He’s going to come in with the same philosophy [as Bielsa] or close to it. But to get players that are used to a certain way of playing for the last two or three years to change and adapt to his way of playing over 12 games is near on impossible to do.
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“He needs a summer, he needs that time to get them into the shape he wants, to get them to play how he wants.
“I feel that he could possibly win the first two or three games but once his philosophy starts to kick in and they transition from how Bielsa played to how he’s playing, that’s when the difficulty comes.
“That’s when they’ll be stuck in limbo and it’s that time when you ask whether they’re going to be able to pick up results or are they going to be punished.”
Leeds pulled the plug on Bielsa’s tenure after the side conceded 17 goals in their past four games.
The Whites had lost all four of those matches, to Everton, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Marsch could get summer Leeds wish
Should Leeds stay in the Premier League this season, Marsch will then have free reign to focus on first-team investment.
And RB Leipzig midfielder Brenden Aaronson is reportedly one of the club’s top targets.
Leeds tried and failed with bids for Marsch’s fellow American. Leipzig refused to let go of their star man with their Champions League last 16 tie against Bayern Munich on the horizon.
Nevertheless, Leeds will try again this summer, with midfield a key area that the club did not address last summer.
Elsewhere, Leeds have more recently had links with attacking midfielder Djordje Mihailovic.
The 23-year-old initially broke through in the MLS in 2017 with Chicago Fire. At the time, Marsch was manager of New York Red Bulls, so some sources are talking up interest.
Everton and Newcastle are also reportedly keen on Mihailovic.