Jesse Marsch outlines his plans with Leeds United and delivers good news about Patrick Bamford

New Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch had some good news to reveal for supporters when he spoke with the media at his first press conference after taking over from Marcelo Bielsa.

By Tony Harber
Friday, 4th March 2022, 10:21 am
New Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch talked a good game when he spoke to the media in his first press conference since taking over Marcelo Bielsa. Picture: George Wood/ Getty Images
New Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch talked a good game when he spoke to the media in his first press conference since taking over Marcelo Bielsa. Picture: George Wood/ Getty Images

Marsch outlined his plans after coming in with the initial brief to make sure the Whites are still playing Premiership football next season.

And he had some potential good news to help him with that task as striker Patrick Bamford is close to returning to full fitness and could be included as soon as Saturday's game at Leicester City.

United's other key players who have yet to play in 2022, Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper, are also well on the mend and may not be far away from returning, but still remain sidelined for now.

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“We'll evaluate Patrick Bamford and see what that means,” said Marsch.

“Can he be on the bench or does he need a few more days?

"Patrick Bamford was in training today, Kalvin and Liam are both making progress - they won't be ready for the weekend, but they're on the pitch, they're working every day. They're getting closer and closer to being in team training.

"Then we have a bunch of other guys who have missed a little bit of training this week and we're trying to evaluate what are the risk and rewards of all the different players and how many minutes are appropriate for them to perform on Saturday.

"There's been a little bit of a cycle here where guys have been fighting through injuries and often playing with injuries and it means they've sometimes picked up other injuries and put themselves more in danger of missing minutes.

"What I need to do is help guys recover as quickly as possible but not overload or endanger them. To put them in situations to further be in danger and then make sure that we have a long term vision in place for what that's going to mean.

"It's 12 games, it's not three games or four games, and I know that we need points but we need to make sure we're getting stronger as we move along, not weaker."

Marsch described the players he is now in charge of as remarkable and he spoke confidently about how he is relishing the challenge ahead with Leeds.

He explained: "The last week has been a bit of a whirlwind. I've taken over enough manager roles in enough places to know that in the first couple of days there can be a million things in your mind and then over time things start to slow down a bit.

"You can start to understand how you can help whatever team you're going to be working with, get to know the club, the people, the players. So, I would say the adaptation process here has been incredibly smooth because the people are so amazing.

"Everything from working with Victor Orta and Angus Kinnear then what it's been like here in our training centre, working with all the people around the team - and then the players.

"Honestly, I've worked with some incredible teams and good young men and this group here are remarkable. It gives me hope that we can adapt things quickly and I can help them be successful.

"I will always be respectful of what has happened here in the past three-and-a-half years because of the accomplishments that the club has had and the type of coach that Marcelo is. I think, even talking to Victor Orta, he felt I was the right type of person to come here and take over the team and take the next steps.

"I think that my way of communicating and having relationships - and I can only speak about what it's been with individual, what video sessions have been like and how attentive the team have been, how much they're eager to adapt and learn quickly, obviously because we know we don't have a lot of time and have to find success quickly.

"It's also so much more than that, it's about the character of the players and the character of the people here. Again, that makes me optimistic."

After conceding a record number of goals for a month when letting in 20 goals in February matches, Marsch is fully aware that he has got to tighten the team up in the weeks ahead.

He said: It's a lot of things, it's not one thing. A lot of teams had developed match plans against the way the team had played here that was starting to become very successful and easier and easier to implement.

"So, clearly it's not just saying we need to defend better that's clear, but it's more about what are the tactics to try and manage the situation effectively so that we can make sure in all moments we're doing things as a group and making it as difficult as we can for opponents. That includes not just open play but set-pieces and dead ball situations.

"But, what's important for me is to understand how to make the simple things the clearest right now and to add complexity as we go on. Getting that balance right not to overload the players but making it clear to them what's important and allowing them on matchday to go out and be their best."

Finally, the new head coach had a message for fans.

He added: "I've seen a lot of people, I'm not out in the community that much but here at the hotel and the people I've seen at the hotel, they've all come up to me and said: 'we want you to succeed, we want you to do well, obviously it was hard to say goodbye to Marcelo but we love this club, we're so happy to be in the Premier League, we're behind you, do everything you can'.

"My message is: I'm here for all the right reasons, I'm not here for myself, I'm here for this club, I'm here to work within a club atmosphere and to maximise the potential of everything we do and I'm here to enjoy the process with the fans as well."

Marsch has confirmed his coaching staff with Franz Schiemer joining as his assistant, having previously worked with him as his assistant head coach at Red Bull Salzburg.

As a player, the 35-year-old made over 150 appearances for Salzburg winning 25 caps for the Austrian national team.

Former Swansea City coach Cameron Toshack has also joined the coaching staff while Mark Jackson will move from under 23s head coach to first team duties.

Former Middlesbrough and Cardiff City player Andrew Taylor is taking over as interim under 23 head coach.