Leeds manager Jesse Marsch insists he is not throwing in the towel amid talk he could be facing the sack, but admits the “entire project is in jeopardy” if results do not soon pick up for him.
The Whites are winless in nine matches, with their last Premier League victory coming in August against Chelsea. That run of results has seen Leeds sink into the relegation zone, with some supporters calling for Marsch to be sacked.
And a match at Anfield, against a Liverpool side who trounced Ajax 3-0 in the Champions League, is not likely to be easy. Leeds were beaten 6-0 there last season during the final throws of the Marcelo Bielsa reign.
However, despite their perilous position, Marsch is refusing to be too downhearted and insists he is not ready to give in.
Asked how he still feels he has the support of the board, Marsch has a strong message for his detractors.
“They’ve [the club] been very supportive, I’ve spoke with Angus [Kinnear], Victor [Orta] and Andrea [Radrizzani] numerous times…
“We’re looking into various things at improving our status, our travel arrangements before games, adding coaching staff – and even psychologists – and transfers obviously. All I can say is, they are very supportive and I’m not done!
“I understand if we don’t win games I put them in a difficult situation. Focus on what’s necessary for the next four games.”
Jesse Marsch responds to Leeds sack talk
Asked about Leeds’ current run of form, Marsch admits he’s pained by their poor recent results. The Leeds boss also has revealed his theory about why the club are just falling short.
“I am angry! I’m sick of playing matches where we are better and walking away with nothing. I am tired of not captialising when we are on top. I’m tired of conceding cheaply. I’m tired of not getting results.
“I’ve had 13 years as a player and 14 as a manager and never lost this much in my career. I’m looking at who can be counted on at the highest level. I need to help the group find confidence and find guys who can fight in every match.
Marsch was then asked about how he can turn Leeds’ fortunes around.
“It’s about identifiying ways for us to change our fortunes. We need to make our own breaks, like the penalty against Arsenal. I need to encourage the group, so the next time we’re in that position, we take those criticial moments. I’m challenging everyone to stand tall in this moment.”
Their most recent defeat – a 3-2 setback at home to Fulham – saw a chorus of boos among supporters and some calls for Marsch to be sacked.
Leeds have several fitness issues ahead of Liverpool clash
Asked how he reacts to that, Marsch continued: “I don’t think the crowd were too harsh or too negative. We’re close but at the moment it’s not good enough. The mentality to fight for everything is paramount. We need to be ruthless and finding ways to capitalise.
“Some people want me out, some want us to turn the corner. Of course, some people want me out. It’s normal! We have to find a way to get results or the questions come more and more [pointing at himself] in this direction.
“In no way, should the blame be put anywhere else. That is the job of the manager. I’m trying to find the right blend and the right mix.
“If we keep losing matches, though, the entire project is in jeopardy.”
Leeds go into Saturday evening’s game with several injury issues to contend with.
Marsch explained: “Stuart [Dallas] and Adam [Forshaw] are still out. Questionable are Leo [Hjelde] with his appendix, then Joffy [Joe Gelhardt], Rodri [Rodrigo Moreno], Luis [Sinisterra], Liam [Cooper] and Tyler [Adams] are all a little bit in question. We will see the next 48 hours and do all we can to make sure we get them there.
Gelhardt has a knee problem, Rodrigo is struggling with his calf, while Sinisterra has a foot problem. Cooper is struggling with a glute issue, while reported Manchester United target Adams is doubtful with a calf injury.
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