Marsch lauds three Leeds stars ushering in a new era; reveals message to players amid cascade of boos

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch Credit: Alamy
Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch Credit: Alamy

Jesse Marsch reserved special praise for three Leeds players who are ushering in a new era, and revealed what effect the fans’ booing had at half-time.

Leeds experienced the full range of emotions on a rollercoaster afternoon at Elland Road. After defeating Liverpool last time out, hopes were high Bournemouth would be swept aside with relative ease. As is typical in the Jesse Marsch era, it was far from straightforward.

Leeds led inside three minutes with Rodrigo converting a penalty. However, the Cherries equalised less than five minutes later through Marcus Tavernier.

The visitors went ahead after 19 minutes through Phil Billing and doubled their advantage just after half-time when Dominic Solanke found the net.

That prompted the introduction of Sam Greenwood who pulled one back on the hour mark. Greenwood then bagged an assist for Liam Cooper’s leveller, before man of the moment Crysensio Summerville snatched all three points for the second weekend running.

Aside from Greenwood and Summerville, fellow young gun Wilfried Gnonto also made an impression when assisting the winning goal. Clearly, while the present is far from a smooth ride, the future does at least appear bright.

Speaking to Match of the Day after the win, Marsch said: “The first half wasn’t our best.

“We tried to change a few things during the half and then some changes at half-time and we believed we could still win the match.

Nous and discipline sparked Leeds comeback – Marsch

“We dug a bigger hole to go down 3-1 and then it was about staying on the team to systematically try to get back into the match, stay disciplined with the tactics and then the subs came on to make the big difference. We were able to find the winner at the end.

“From my first day here, what you see is real belief and real commitment and a real understanding that it takes every ounce of our being to compete and be good in this league.

“We still have a long way to go to consistently be the team that I want us to be but in the meantime we know that we have commitment.

“I actually think that all the times we give up goals we are being too passive and not aggressive enough.

“It is converse to what you may think and about tactical discipline, understanding roles and then committing to them at the highest level. The opponents in this league challenge you at the highest level with that.”

The home crowd voiced their displeasure at half-time following a turgid first 45 minutes from their side.

Marsch stressed the paying public have every right to vent their frustrations, though revealed he urged his players to ignore the fan discontent and instead focus solely on his tactical instructions. Clearly, it was a request that worked wonders.

The American continued: “The fans have the right to opinion and emotion. We all do. The sport requires that. My focus is entirely on making sure the group is strong.

“At half-time I said to them not to be phased by the negativity in the stadium and stay focused on the tactical aspect of what we are trying to bring, get into the game more and more and we will win. We did that.”

Young trio come to the fore

On the younger elements of his side with rising trio Gnonto, Greenwood and Summerville bagging four goal contributions between them, Marsch added: “Sam Greenwood comes on and plays really well to get the goal.

“Willy Gnonto is a spark within our team at the moment. He plays really mature and the play to set up the fourth.

“And of course Summerville continues to grow and get better. We have a lot of good young players and we need to continue to invest in them.”

Marsch turns the air blue at half time?

Matchwinner Summerville also spoke to the press, telling the BBC: “It was a bit sloppy in the first half but we rebuilt it in the second.

“You can see as a group we believe and we fight for each other. You can see in the second half, it was just crazy.

“I just keep working hard. The team is good and the spirit is good so we just have to keep going now.

“You have to stick to the match plan and you will get back to how you usually play. In the first half we were sloppy and not doing the things we were meant to be doing.

“I don’t think I can say it [what Jesse Marsch said at half-time], but I can do it in my words. If you stick to the match plan and do what we usually do then we are going to win this game.

“It was the last home game [before the World Cup] and the crowd is like the 12th man. Leeds United is incredible and the crowd give a lot.

“We have to keep building the momentum. I am looking forward to Wolves now [in the League Cup].”

READ MORE: Leeds ordered to pay £18.4m for loan flop who made just three Championship appearances in 2020

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