Leeds United news: Jesse Marsch has 'major respect' for Marcelo Bielsa despite over-training comment

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch insists he didn't mean any harm in suggesting that his players were 'over trained' before his arrival.

After Marcelo Bielsa was shown the exit at Elland Road back in February, the mood around the Yorkshire club was at an all-time low regarding relegation.

The arrival of American manager Jesse Marsch wasn't greeted entirely well by the Leeds faithful, who had built up a connection with Bielsa after he oversaw the team's promotion from the Championship.

But two months on from his appointment, Marsch has Leeds up to 16th in the table, five points from the drop and on a four-match unbeaten streak.

By no means does that render Leeds safe from the drop, but the 48-year-old coach has done enough to earn the respect of the club's fans.

However, a comment made earlier this month about the players being over-trained before his arrival didn't sit well with the fanbase, with some accusing Marsch of criticising Bielsa's training tactics.

Jesse Marsch Leeds Mar22

But Marsch has now stressed that he has "major respect" for the Argentine he succeeded, and insisted his comments were not meant in a harmful manner.

"I haven't spoken at all since the comments I made about overtraining and Marcelo and listen, I want to say this was not intentional to attack Marcelo in any way.

"It was a little bit careless and I can see how it was interpreted in some ways.

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

"I think you would be hard-pressed to find an incoming coach that has spoken more positively about the person he replaced (than) the way I have spoken about Marcelo. It's because I have major respect for him.

"I haven't said anything about what I said after that and I've seen a little bit of the response, but I want to make sure that the respect for Marcelo is of a very high level from me and from everyone here."

Frankly, Marsch did come into a squad ravaged with injury, with key players such as Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper all sidelined upon his arrival.

Phillips and Cooper are now back training with the squad, while Bamford suffered a follow-up injury after initially recovering.

Having now regrouped his squad and gone on an unbeaten run across the last four matches, Marsch will want to carry that momentum into a hard run of fixtures that incudes clashes with Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea in the coming weeks.

But first up for Leeds is a trip to Crystal Palace on Monday evening, with points needed to continue building a gap between them and relegation rivals Everton and Burnley.

READ MORE: Relegation run-in: Remaining fixtures and survival hopes for Burnley, Everton, Leeds and Aston Villa

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