LEEDS – New manager, similar ethos.
Don’t expect Leeds to look markedly different under the leadership of new American coach Jesse Marsch following his arrival at the struggling English Premier League club as the replacement for the fired Marcelo Bielsa.
That, after all, is the reason why Marsch was picked to take over from the man who he described on Thursday as a “living legend.”
“This is why I’m here,” the former U.S. midfielder said upon being presented as Leeds’ new manager. “I certainly didn’t have the coaching career that Marcelo had before he came.”
Bielsa, the Argentine coach who influenced leading managers such as Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, spent 3 1/2 years at Leeds and implemented an adventurous, all-action approach that led to goals at both ends of the field.
Bielsa’s Leeds was slightly found out this season, with four straight losses — conceding 17 goals in the process — dropping the team to within two points of the relegation zone.
Marsch said he knows his players have to improve defensively and that there will be a “modifying of tactics," but challenged them to show the same fearlessness they had under Bielsa.
“I used to have an equation — fear to fail equals failure,” Marsch said. “And the way we play is fearless. We have a lot of fearless young men here, we have to tap into that fearlessness and it will help us in the situation like this.
“The way we play is, making mistakes is never a bad thing. Because we are aggressive to win the ball back, we are aggressive to impose our will on the opponent at all times.”
Marsch, who is back in work nearly three months after leaving German team Leipzig, said his “ethos fits well” with his new club.
“Even where I’m from, Milwaukee in Wisconsin, reminds me a little bit of what Leeds is,” he said. “I come from a hard-working family. My father worked in a factory for 32 years.
“I only know working hard and giving everything I have.”
Leeds’ first game under Marsch is against Leicester on Saturday.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports