Head coach Jesse Marsch is convinced Leeds “can control their own destiny” and retain their Premier League status after fighting back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Wolves.
Luke Ayling crashed home a stoppage-time winner in one of the top flight’s games of the season to lift Leeds seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Wolves had threatened to sweep Leeds aside after a dominant first-half display in which goals from Jonny and substitute Francisco Trincao gave them a 2-0 lead.
But striker Raul Jimenez was sent off for a second yellow card after his 53rd-minute challenge on Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier and the visitors turned the game on its head to level through Jack Harrison and Rodrigo.
When asked if he thinks Leeds will stay up, Marsch said: “Everton won last night and I didn’t care because all I want to focus on is us.
“I just want us to stay true and stay calm to our process, to push ourselves every day, to finding a way.
“I believe we have the quality of people and of players that we can control our own destiny and find a way to not just survive in this situation, but thrive in it. That’s the goal.”
Leeds’ fightback was all the more impressive after they had been forced to withdraw four players through injury, three of them before half-time.
Patrick Bamford aggravated a foot problem, Diego Llorente had a back spasm, Mateusz Klich suffered concussion and Meslier was forced off with a bruised hip after his collision with Jimenez.
Marsch said he told his players Leeds’ win was one of the best he had ever seen.
“I told them this was not just one of the best results in my career, but that I’ve seen in the game, really,” said the American, whose side had snatched victory via a stoppage-time winner on Sunday against Norwich.
“It’s two games in a row now,” Marsch added. “It’s about the character and the hearts of our men. They deserve all the credit.
“They’re the ones who went for it and believe in themselves and moment after moment pushed the game and we’re going to continue to draw on that mindset.”
"2-0 up, 11 against 11, we dominated the game. If we want to do something special in this season we need to continue to work and play like we did in the first 45 minutes."— Wolves (@Wolves) March 18, 2022
Wolves boss Bruno Lage said his side had been in complete control until Jimenez’s dismissal and was critical of referee Kevin Friend.
Lage said: “Something goes wrong in that situation. Everyone can take bad decisions, but after when you watch the image on TV and you saw it is a bad decision.
“When you see the image and it was big body contact. Both boys tried to win the ball. I know the referee already watched the image and he continued with the same opinion. I have nothing to say about that.”
The Portuguese rued the chances his side failed to convert when they were 2-0 up, but said he was proud of their first-half performance.
Lage added: “We play the way we need to play at home. We controlled the game from the first minute, we dominated in everything. We know Leeds is strong to press, but we controlled and managed the ball.
“We created a lot of chances and could have scored more goals. We need to grow up. We needed to kill the game.
“For 45 minutes with the good football, maybe the best I saw from us this season. Goals and opportunities and I’m proud of my players.”
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.