Leeds Utd boss Jesse Marsch waxed lyrical about new boy Brenden Aaronson who revelled in the atmosphere Elland Road generated on his debut.
The Whites kicked off their 2022-23 campaign with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at home to Wolves. Marsch handed first-team debuts to four new recruits including Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca, Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson.
But it was old boy Rodrigo who brought Leeds back on level terms inside half an hour after Daniel Podence had opened the scoring after just six minutes.
The scores remained level deep into the second half before Rayan Ait-Nouri inadvertently deflected Patrick Bamford’s cross into his own goal. The Frenchman would not have prodded into his own net if not for the heavy pressure asserted by Aaronson.
Wolves pushed for an equaliser later on, though Leeds stood firm, notching their first three points of the season.
Speaking to the BBC after the match, Marsch said: “I felt like we had a tough start to the second half. Wolves were pushing, we had to hold on and dig in a bit.
“The second goal was in some ways a little against the run of play but we were gathering momentum. I was really pleased that the guys who came off the bench made a big difference for us.
“I actually thought we had a bright start to the match. The response to going a goal down was really good and I actually thought we could have had a few more before half time.
“I think all the debutants did quite well. The speed of play on the pitch was at a very high level, both teams trying to impose themselves on the way they wanted to play. In general I think the four players who started their first match for us are going to be good players.
On fellow American Aaronson who impressed on the right side, Marsch added: “He is relentless. He is non-stop. His work rate is incredible I know him well and the thing I know about him is he is only going to get better.”
Marsch and Wolves counterpart, Bruno Lage, exchanged a heated word or two at the full-time whistle.
When pressed on the flash point, Marsch opted to take the high road and played down the incident: “It was nothing, really.”
Brenden Aaronson claiming winning goal
Leeds debutant Aaronson also spoke to the press, saying: “That was exactly what we were looking for!
“I can’t stop smiling because this is such a wonderful place. The crowd push you on, that is why it is a legend here, Leeds United.
“Our plan was to go through the middle and I think we executed that well.”
On Leeds’ winning goal that ultimately went down as an own goal, the American added: “I think it came off me! I can remember touching it with my leg. We shall see, I hope they give me credit though.
“This is the way we wanted to start the season. Awesome.”