New Leeds manager Jesse Marsch has made clear his ambitions for the club after facing the media for the first time since replacing Marcelo Bielsa.
The 48-year-old American has been drafted in to replace former boss Bielsa. The Argentine will live long in the memory of Leeds fans, though results on the pitch had taken a startling nosedive this season.
Indeed, Marsch’s sole focus this season will be staving off relegation. The Whites currently sit two points clear of the drop in 16th, though Everton in 17th and Burnley in 18th both have games in hand (two and one respectively).
As it stands, Marsch will hope to hit the ground running at Leeds. Indeed, in his first interview as Whites manager, Marsch has outlined his vision for the Elland Road club.
First up for the new coach is the clash at Leicester on Saturday lunchtime.
And facing the media for the first time, Marsch insists he is looking for a positive response from his players.
“The pressure is what you make of it,”he said. “This is a big league in a big moment. We need to get points to make sure this team is where it deserves to be.
“We must focus on what we can control and what gets us to where we need to be. We’re planning to invest in the process and the people here. We want to instil confidence in the group. I want to help the team get forward and how we communicate that every day.”
Leeds’ leaky defence has seen the side ship 17 goals in their last four games alone. And plugging those gaps will be one area in which Marsch will hope to have an impact.
“A lot of teams had developed match plans against the way the team had played here which were becoming easier to implement. We have to find the tactics that manage the situation effectively.
“We need to make sure, in all moments, we are using the group. Set-pieces and dead-ball situations. I have a million things on my mind I want to implement, but it’s important to make the simple things the clearest and then add complexities.”
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Asked how he has got his ideas across, Marsch continued: “It’s an adjustment of tactics first. Then, what I want in the style of play moving forward.
“We’ve had video sessions every day and the attention span, you can see excitement to try new things. Investment in the people. That’s what I care about the most.
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“I love working with young men and understand how to improve and be the best version of themselves.”
Marsch admits his first few days at Leeds have gone by in a flash.
He added: “I would say the last week has been a bit of a whirlwind and I have taken over enough management roles to know that in the first few days there are a million things on your mind and then you start to slow down and get to help.
“I would say the adaptation process here has been incredibly smooth because the people here are so amazing. This group here is remarkable.”
Jesse Marsch has total respect for Marcelo Bielsa
Marsch also admits he has total admiration for the work done by predecessor Bielsa.
“I will always be respectful of what has happened here in the last three and a half years.”
Marsch has a style not too dissimilar to Bielsa and he added, via the Yorkshire Evening Post: “This is the reason I am here I think. I certainly didn’t have the managerial career that Marcelo had before he came here.
“I believe I can be the right kind of fit and it can be that right fit for me.”
Jesse Marsch continued: “I understand what a big job it is and how big it is to the fans and community here but I have followed football history for years and I am very aware of what this is.
“I am very happy to be here, I’ve been following Leeds for a couple of years because of Victor [Orta]. Clearly I am emotional and excited and I just have to channel that.”