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Jesse Marsch looking forward to reunion with mentor Ralph Hasenhuttl

Jesse Marsch
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Jesse Marsch aims to outsmart mentor and “gentleman” Ralph Hasenhuttl on Saturday when Leeds take on Southampton.

Leeds resume their Premier League relegation battle at Elland Road against Hasenhuttl’s Saints and Marsch hopes inside information can give him the edge.

The pair forged a close friendship during their managerial stints within the Red Bull stable, when Marsch was at New York and Hasenhuttl in charge of Leipzig.

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Marsch said: “In 2016/17, in the winter, Ralph was kind enough to allow me to join his staff for about six, seven weeks in that time.

“Ralph is an incredible human being, that’s the first thing that needs to be said. He’s a really good person that cares about people and cares about his teams and the environments that he creates.

“And then he’s a sharp, intelligent manager and I think he believes in a lot of the same principles and philosophies that I believe in, in football.”

Marsch went on from New York to become assistant to Ralf Rangnick at Leipzig after Hasenhuttl had left the German club in 2018.

Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge of Southampton after leaving RB Leipzig in 2018

Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge of Southampton after leaving RB Leipzig in 2018 (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Hasenhuttl had guided newly-promoted Leipzig to second and sixth-placed Bundesliga finishes before replacing Mark Hughes at Southampton later that year.

Marsch said: “I learned a lot from from the weeks that I spent with him in that time and the way that he leads and the way that he talks and the way that he thinks, so maybe that helps our team and me prepare for what he is and what his team is right now.

“He’s really a gentleman so when I was first there, he took me on a little tour of the facility and kind of talked about some of the things they were doing in the gym and then he allowed me in every meeting that they ever had as a staff and as a team and then obviously there were a lot of tactical discussions.

“Often I was a fly on the wall and would have some discussions later with him about things.”

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Marsch, bidding for a third straight league win to lift Leeds further away from the bottom three, revealed Hasenhuttl has other talents.

“One day, he had the whole staff over at his house for a dinner and he invited me at that time and he played piano for us,” Marsch added. “He’s a really good piano player.

“Like I said to you guys, he’s a gentleman, like through and through. He is a gentleman.”

Marsch must decide whether to hand starts to Kalvin Phillips and Liam Cooper, who hope to make their first appearances since December after recovering from respective hamstring injuries.

Patrick Bamford has been ruled out for another six weeks after aggravating a troublesome foot injury in the win at Wolves before the international break.

But goalkeeper Illan Meslier, Mateusz Klich and Diego Llorente, forced off due to injuries at Molineux, are all available.

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