Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Jesse Marsch names star he will pin Leeds attacking hopes on; has special praise for Hasenhuttl

Jesse Marsch, Leeds United manager addresses the media presser - pic via LUFCTV

Jesse Marsch insists he is happy to place his faith in one player in particular as Leeds face up to another spell on sidelines for unfortunate striker Patrick Bamford.

The Leeds No 9 has endured a wretched season, with injury seriously curtailing his progress. After sustaining an ankle injury in the draw at Newcastle on September 17, Bamford was sidelined until early December. Then, after stepping off the bench against Brentford, his exuberant celebrations in scoring a last-ditch equaliser saw him pull a hamstring.

When he eventually recovered from that, Bamford has then been sidelined by a painful plantar fascia issue.

Having been dogged by that over the past year, he ultimately succumbed to that in a more serious way at Molineux.

As such, Marsch has provided an update on when he expects the striker to return.

In Bamford’s ongoing absence, Leeds are left without a physical presence in attack.

However, Rodrigo has stepped up somewhat in recent weeks. Playing without the tracking-back shackles that Marcelo Bielsa placed on him, the Spain striker has looked much improved in recent games. Goals against Norwich and Wolves are testament to that.

Asked if Rodrigo is now his main man up front, Marsch had a pretty emphatic response.

“I see him as a leader in the team. Committing to 100 per cent of what we are trying to accomplish as a group. With Rodrigo he wants to learn our ideas, commit to the tactics and be aggressive. He has the quality to  execute in the last third. Working with him has been outstanding. He’s incredible human being. Help him grow and get better and continue to develop. Whether they are 35 or 15 I believe all players have room to develop.

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“The guys look to him in a lot of ways. I’m really happy to work with him and get to know him more. He’s a massive part of what we’re doing in attack.”

Jesse Marsch has words of praise for Ralph Hasenhuttl

Saturday’s game against Southampton will see Leeds United gunning for a third successive win. Should they be successful, it’ll be the first time this season they have achieved that.

In the opposing dug-out to Marsch will be Ralph Hasenhuttl, a figure the American knows well from RB Leipzig connections.

And the Leeds boss has nothing but praise for the Saints manager.

Explaining his admiration for him, Marsch continued: “In 16/17, Ralph allowed me to mjoin his staff for six or seven weeks. He is an incredible human being. First thing that needs to be said. Really good person and cares about the environments he creates.

“He’s a sharp, intelligent manager. Believes in a lot of the same principles as me. Learned a lot from what I spent with him. May help me prepare now, but look back on it as helpful time.”

Meanwhile, Marsch and Leeds are turning their thoughts to the summer window. Our exclusive has revealed the name of a second American star they are tracking.