A 3-0 beating at home by Aston Villa, on a night when supporters aired Marcelo Bielsa chants and expressed anger in the direction of the club’s decision makers, allowed Marsch to pick up on the weight of expectation and pressure bearing down on his players.
“I underestimated the stress of the moment from the players’ perspective,” he said.
The mood lightened a little during the five-game unbeaten run that followed, but the loss of senior leaders to injuries and red cards, along with three-straight defeats that threatened to become four against Brighton, have left Leeds in not only genuine peril but a state of disbelief.
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OUT OF HIS HANDS: Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch whose side’s bid for Premier League survival now rests with Burnley, even if the Whites get a result at Brentford on the final day. Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.
Marsch admitted as such after a half-time team talk that tried to address his concern over the players’ mindsets.
“I could still see the looks on some of their faces at half-time that we weren’t 100 per cent believing that we could do it,” he said after the game.
“The last thing I said, when I looked in all their eyes, was ‘we can have no doubts, we need to make a couple of adjustments but we have to have zero doubts and push’.”
Leeds did push, grabbed a vital point in stoppage time and can at least carry whatever momentum that gave them into the final weekend of relegation-deciding fixtures.
Last night they dropped back into the bottom three, as Burnley’s 1-1 draw at Aston Villa took them above the Whites on goal difference.
Relegation is between these two now, as Everton produced a sensational home comeback to recover from 2-0 down to defeat Crystal Palace 3-2.
Clinical sports psychotherapist Gary Bloom, who commentated on the Whites’ 1982 final-day relegation from the top flight, says Marsch arrived at Leeds knowing exactly how he wanted to lift the players.
On the face of it, however, his approachable, arm-around-the-shoulder style has come as a culture-shock at Thorp Arch and will …….