New Leeds manager Jesse Marsch has revealed he told the club to give Marcelo Bielsa until the end of the season to try and turn things around before he was sacked.
90min were the first to reveal that Leeds had taken the decision to part ways with the overwhelmingly popular Bielsa, who left the club 18th in the Premier League and with the competition's second-worst goal difference.
It was a sad end to Bielsa's time at Leeds. The Argentine built up a cult following after guiding the team back to the Premier League and enjoyed a superb debut campaign in the top flight, but lost all that momentum this time around.
Ahead of his first game as Leeds manager, Marsch admitted he tried to convince Leeds to give Bielsa more time.
"Andrea [Radrizzani, club owner] asked me would I come at the end of the season if they were in the Premier League or Championship. I felt if the project was right, absolutely,” Marsch said.
“When they came to me eight days ago, then it was time to show I meant that. I didn’t want Marcelo to have to go out like this. I wanted to see him continue and finish his legacy and keep the team up. I wanted to make that argument with Victor [Orta, director of football] when he called me, but I could see the group was suffering.
“It wasn’t a financial perspective or about finding the biggest club possible to work with. It was about finding people that I felt cared about the same things I cared about. I felt that speaking to people associated with the club in the last weeks and months.”
Marsch also urged fans not to let their feelings towards Bielsa impact their perception of him, stressing that everyone is working towards the same goal.
“I know there are factions of people who may not accept me so well because of their love for Marcelo but, in the end, I just want the team to show how good they are," he said.
“On Monday I came here and met with the medical team and they introduced a myriad of injury situations. There has been a cycle when guys have been playing with injuries and they have picked up more injuries and put themselves more in danger of missing minutes. I need to help guys recover as quickly as possible, but not endanger them and not overload them to put them in situations to further be in danger.”