Jesse Marsch admits he 'underestimated' pressure at Leeds

Tom Gott
Marsch had a home debut to forget
Marsch had a home debut to forget / George Wood/GettyImages

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has confessed that he did not realise the anxiety surrounding the club is after his side were booed off the pitch following Thursday's 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

After a narrow 1-0 loss to Leicester in his first game in charge, Marsch got his first taste of Elland Road against Villa but quickly found himself in a nightmare. Goals from Philippe Coutinho, Matty Cash and Calum Chambers got the job done for Villa and Leeds fans were so unimpressed that they booed their team off after the final whistle.

After the game, Marsch stressed that Leeds' poor performance was likely down to nerves and the stress of trying to avoid relegation in the post-Marcelo Bielsa era, and he admitted that he didn't realise just how bad the tension was.

"I underestimated the stress of the moment," he said. "From the players' perspective, we've had a very good week, good ten days together. I've tried to create clarity for the group as to how we want to play and the behaviours that we want and the tactics to create clarity with that but it was clear from the beginning that we lacked confidence and aggression in the match.

"I've heard a lot about the Elland Road crowd tonight and I thought it was fantastic from the beginning, really. But I also could see that the players, they want to do well so badly for each other and for the club and for the fans that it brings almost more pressure and stress onto their shoulders.

"So, from the beginning I said we have to stay calm, and we have to be clear, and I can see right now that that's a message that we have to stay strong with. And that you know when we step on the field that we need to know that the fear will ensure failure, right? It won't protect us from failure. We have to be fearless. We have to attack matches and we have to go after opponents. That is the biggest lesson for me from what happened tonight."

Marsch went on to confess that the crowd are entitled to react how they want and it is his job to convince them to be hopeful for the future.

"I mean obviously there's uneasiness with the entire situation which is normal," he continued. "My job is to provide confidence and provide clarity. And I understand that there that it's a big job to do. I knew that when I came here, so I'm not surprised with what the situation is.

"And my job is to just stay strong. Help the players believe in themselves, help the players understand what the roles are and then help them go out on the pitch and execute clearly. Which we didn't do tonight. Right? Which was obviously again part of the reason why the stress added up more and more. It works together.

"If they're not clear, then they're not confident. If they are clear, then they can play with confidence. So we'll keep we'll keep pushing."