Jesse Marsch defends not playing Georginio Rutter as Brentford frustrate Leeds

Leeds record signing Georginio Rutter was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 0-0 home draw against Brentford (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)
Leeds record signing Georginio Rutter was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 0-0 home draw against Brentford (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch defended his decision to keep club record signing Georginio Rutter on the bench in his side’s 0-0 home draw against Brentford.

Rutter, signed last week for £36million from Hoffenheim, was an unused substitute in Sunday’s frustrating Premier League stalemate.

A disjointed match was crying out for Rutter to make himself an instant Elland Road hero, but Marsch resisted the temptation to turn to the France Under-21 striker.

Marsch said: “We thought about it. I could have done it. I just wanted to integrate him in the right way.

“I felt like the guys on the field, Willy (Gnonto) was close to pulling off a play, so I left him on, I thought Jack (Harrison’s) performance was really strong.

“When you have new players you always want to set them up to succeed, so in the end I decided to wait maybe one more week before we unleash him.”

Leeds created the better chances as their winless league run was extended to six matches, with Brentford goalkeeper David Raya making the game’s decisive save from Gnonto’s angled second-half effort.

Brentford had no efforts on target, but stuck to their game-plan – slow the game down and disrupt Leeds’ rhythm – and were rewarded as they stretched their club record unbeaten league run to eight games.

Marsch said: “This is sort of the play-book to coming to Elland Road. There are teams that do this to be fair, it’s an intelligent way to manage coming here playing against a team that likes to play with tempo.

“But my group and I have learned to not get frustrated and stay focused on exactly the match. I thought we did that well today.

“The group is disappointed because they really felt they played well and wanted to be rewarded with the points.”

Brentford, unbeaten in the league since October, did not deserve a fourth straight top-flight win for the first time since 1939, but head coach Thomas Frank was delighted with his side’s point.

Frank said: “I think I need to give credit to Leeds. I said before the game that Leeds have a very good team.

“I think Jesse and his staff are doing a very good job. They play with great intensity and very front-footed, so you need to handle that pressure.”

The Dane added: “It was a really solid away performance. We defended very well and gave almost nothing away.

“I think the only big chance was to Gnonto on transition, where David needed to save it. The rest were were fairly well in control of.”