Jesse Marsch has confirmed that Leeds United have lost another player for the season in winger Crysencio Summerville, ahead of Saturday’s tough test against champions Manchester City at Elland Road.
The Whites are in their best run of form of the season, having now gone five games unbeate. Three wins and a draw – the latest being Monday’s 0-0 at Crystal Palace – has boosted confidence Leeds can avoid the drop. However, despite the run of results, they have seen Burnley – playing a string of games in hand – cut the gap to safety.
And Leeds’ survival hopes face a real test of character over the next few games. Indeed, Marsch’s side face City at home before travelling to Arsenal the weekend after and then facing Chelsea on Wednesday week.
Still having their heads above the relegation trapdoor will be a huge boost for United.
Their hopes of avoiding the drop have been aided by the recent timely return of Kalvin Phillips. He put in a solid shift in a slightly-unfamiliar midfield role against the Eagles.
However, his return has been offset by the season-ending injury to Adam Forshaw. Having dislocated his kneecap, the midfielder must now sit out the rest of the season.
Speaking ahead of the test with City, Marsch has also revealed that Summerville is also out for the remainder of the season.
The Dutch winger, although down the Leeds United pecking order, has been in great form for the Under-23s. As such, his lay-off is another blow for Marsch.
Huge Bamford lift for Leeds
That said, Marsch has revealed that Patrick Bamford is progressing well, though the City game will come too soon.
“Summerville was injured in the last training session before Palace,” Marsch explained. “It’s unfortunate because he’s been in good form. He’s twisted his ankle and is done for the season.
“It’s disappointing and then Adam [Forshaw] is moving forward, but still some time for him. Patrick is making progress and we’re hopeful he’ll be back later in the season. Tyler [Roberts] is making good progress. Everyone else fully healthy.”
When pushed on Bamford, Marsch suggested the striker could return as soon as next week. That’s big progress given his last update on his heel injury.
Marsch ready for Man City test
Looking ahead to the City game, and Marsch knows his side are up against one of the elite clubs in world football.
“We’re excited for a big match. They’re the best team in the world against the best club in the world [Leeds]!
Asked how Leeds will approach the game, Marsch added: “We will be pragmatic, but aggressive. If you analyse them, they overload wide areas and they are so good at crossing, even without height. Everything good comes from wide areas. We have to manage that and what that means, the options and movement they create.
“The quality they have and the way the manager teaches them to play the game.”
Asked if his side will be scared after a 7-0 trouncing by City earlier this season, Marsch added: “I don’t think so. We are all very clear this is a team that can pile on the goals. We are focused on being clear and being up for the challenge. Nothing to lose.
“We’re expected to lose every time. I don’t believe that, but can see that expectation. We know what they want the game to look like.”