Jesse Marsch insists on respecting Marcelo Bielsa after ‘overtraining’ comment


Jesse Marsch insists he has ‘great respect’ for Marcelo Bielsa after comments the American made in a recent radio interview.

Bielsa was controversially sacked by Leeds at the end of February after a poor run of results and replaced by Marsch, who was responsible for keeping the club in the Premier League.

During an interview on talkSPORT last week, Marsch said Leeds players had been overtrained under Bielsa and that had led to a list of debilitating injuries which had undermined their season.

Some Leeds fans claimed the comments were disrespectful to Bielsa and Marsch wanted to set the record straight at a press conference ahead of Monday’s Premier League game at Crystal Palace.

Uninvited, Marsch said: “I haven’t spoken at all since the comments I made on talkSPORT about overtraining and Marcelo and listen I mean it was unintentional to attack Marcelo in any way.

“It was a little careless and I can see how that was interpreted in some ways.

“But it was more about the state of the player pool and what I had observed trying to move the team forward.

“I think you’d be hard pressed to find an incoming coach who spoke more positively about the person he replaced (than) the way I spoke about Marcelo. It’s because I have great respect for him.

“I didn’t say anything about what I said after that and saw a bit of a response, but I want to make sure that the respect for Marcelo is of a very high level from me and the from everyone here.”

Leeds struggled without several key players for long periods in their second season back in the top flight.

Patrick Bamford is still struggling with a foot problem, while Kalvin Phillips and skipper Liam Cooper only recently returned from long-term hamstring injuries.

Marsch said in his talkSPORT interview: “The injury issue, for me, had a lot to do with training methodology.

“These players were overtrained and that caused them to be physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically in a tough place to recover from week to week, game to game.

“You could see it on their faces. You could see in the 15th minute that some of them were already maxed out – and that shouldn’t be the case.

Despite taking 10 points from a possible 12 in their last four matches, Leeds remain under pressure ahead of Monday’s trip to Selhurst Park.

They sit five points above the relegation zone with six games to go and Marsch added: “The only thing for us is to just focus on ourselves and make sure we have a performance that gives us a chance to get all three points.

“I mean, it really depends on each outcome, so I don’t really care about anyone else.”


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