Leeds boss Jesse Marsch admits keeping them up ‘took all of my being’ and insists they ‘have to build in the right way’ having clung on to Premier League survival on the final day
Leeds boss Jesse Marsch admitted that the club’s escapology act on the final day of the Premier League season took everything out of him.
The Whites sat in the relegation zone at the start of play and knew that they had to better Burnley’s result in order to stay up.
They did just that as Jack Harrison’s 93rd-minute goal secured a 2-1 victory away at Brentford, while the Clarets fell to a 2-1 defeat against Newcastle.
Jesse Marsch admitted that Leeds’ escapology act on the final day took everything out of him
Jack Harrison scored a 93rd-minute winner as the Whites triumphed 2-1 against Brentford
Marsch, who replaced Marcelo Bielsa as manager at Elland Road at the end of February, outlined his plans to develop the club after securing survival.
‘I knew it was going to require all of my being when I came here and that proved to be true,’ the American told BBC Sport. ‘What it showed more than anything else is that we have a group that pours everything they have into what we want to be. Football wise we are not perfect yet and never will be.
‘I know we have to develop in that way. But character and mentality and desire and commitment and personality and belief, I have never seen a group like this. We have rode that in a lot of ways and tried to keep pushing ourselves to get better and better.
‘I am also very proud of the individuals since I have been here that have gotten better and better, and contributed in big ways, not just to how we play on the pitch but who we are as a team. I was so focused on just keeping this club in the league so we can become more and more what I want us to be and we want us to be. Now we have a chance.
Marsch replaced Marcelo Bielsa as manager of the Yorkshire club at the end of February
The American outlined his plans to develop the club and the squad ahead of the new season
‘We have to build the club in the right way. When Marcelo [Bielsa] left he took 10 people with him. We have been working with a smaller group of people doing multiple jobs. We need to bring in the right kind of players and continue to rely on the mentality of the club and players.’
On what was a dramatic final day at both the top and the bottom of the Premier League, Leeds thought they had taken the lead against Brentford when Joe Gelhardt found the net in the 19th minute.
The goal was ruled out for offside following a VAR check, but at the same moment at Turf Moor, Burnley fell behind as Newcastle’s Callum Wilson scored a penalty.
Leeds went in front from the spot themselves after half-time as Raphinha held his nerve and the Whites then gained a man advantage as Kristoffer Ajer was forced off injured with Brentford having used all of their substitutions.
The Bees found an equaliser through Sergi Canos though, but the Spaniard received a second yellow card two minutes later and Thomas Frank’s side were down to nine men.
Marsch was left flat on his back in the technical area after celebrating Harrison’s late goal
With Burnley trailing 2-1 as stoppage time arrived, a draw would have been enough to keep Leeds up but Harrison sent the traveling fans crazy with his late winner. Marsch was left flat on his back in the technical area after the celebrations.
‘I have been in final days where I have had to keep track of what is going on and managed our mentality and our play,’ the Whites boss added. ‘The heat was one of the biggest factors today. Both teams were suffering but our ability to keep focused was going to be really important.
‘But we go up a man and then give away a goal so it is tighter than it needs to be. But our resolve to find a winner in injury time again, it is down to the character of the group.’