Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Jesse Marsch praises Leeds resolve but explains what they must change before final fight

Jesse Marsch on the Leeds United touchline

Jesse Marsch felt Leeds United could have taken all three points in a game when the pressure was on against Brighton – but has backed them to fight again next week, as long as they can start matches better.

Leeds looked to be heading for a demoralising defeat that would have kept them in the bottom three after a Danny Welbeck goal for Brighton. However, Pascal Struijk popped up with an equaliser in stoppage time after an inspirational assist from Joe Gelhardt.

It gave Leeds a point that has lifted them above Burnley and out of the relegation zone. That said, the Clarets have a game in hand before the final day.

But Leeds have kept their hopes alive going into their last match, away at Brentford next Sunday.

That was all Jesse Marsch could ask for, having felt they improved throughout the course of the game.

Marsch told Sky Sports: “Our goal was to get three points today but we knew that any points and Burnley not getting any would shift the pressure a bit the other way.

“Burnley still has a match in hand but to fight that way and stay in the match… second half I thought was quite good. We were unlucky not to come away with more.

“The first corner kick we have a great chance and the way it is going, of course it hits our own man in the face and prevents it being a goal.

“First half we couldn’t really settle in. Our confidence on the ball and our movement wasn’t good enough. Our pressure at points meant we were a bit all over the place. Brighton were able to exploit it and cause us troubles.

“We tried to be a bit more compact after the 30th minute. From there on we pushed the game a bit more and were unlucky not to come away with more.”

Jesse Marsch makes mentality rallying cry

Leeds will now be watching how Burnley get on against Aston Villa on Thursday. If Villa win, Leeds will go into the last day outside the relegation zone; anything else, and Burnley will be above them again.

Marsch can only focus on what he can influence with his own players. But he believes in their mentality – especially if they can start games in the same manner they are sometimes ending them.

He added: “This is a psychological battle we are in. We need to show up next week and show us at our best.

“What you see is we are put in difficult situations and the resolve of our team. We need to be able to show that at the beginning of matches too.

“It is a fight. Nothing comes easy for us. We seem to dig holes and then have to find a way to dig out.

“We are ready, we are going to invest everything we have in this last match and see if we can do this.

“It is all about focusing on results. We need to stay strong with each other and not get frustrated. Stick to match plans and try to find a way to win the game.”

Back when Marcelo Bielsa was in charge, Leeds drew the reverse fixture with Brentford thanks to a stoppage-time equaliser. They will be hoping for something more next week.

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