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Jesse Marsch plans to ‘create something special’ with Leeds

Jesse Marsch
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Jesse Marsch said he wants to “create something special” at Leeds after Joe Gelhardt’s last-gasp winner against Norwich had raised the roof at Elland Road.

Gelhardt’s stoppage-time strike in Sunday’s Premier League relegation battle came two minutes after he had stepped off the bench and one minute after Kenny McLean’s equaliser appeared to have snatched Norwich a point.

McLean stunned the home fans in the first minute of added time when he cancelled out Rodrigo’s first-half opener, but Gelhardt’s late heroics snapped Leeds’ six-game losing run and sparked scenes of pandemonium.

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It also lifted Leeds four points clear of the drop zone and clinched Marsch’s first win as the club’s head coach.

He said: “Our identity I think has been created here for years, for decades.

“We need to take the idea of football that I have and continue to ingrain that, that mentality of what Leeds United is and how it represents the community and the fans and create something special.

“I promise you there’s so much more work to do and I’m not ever going to get ahead of myself until June and then I can take a breath.”

Joe Gelhardt celebrates his stoppage-time winner

Joe Gelhardt celebrates his stoppage-time winner (Tim Goode/PA)

Leeds had been abject in Marsch’s first home game in charge – Thursday night’s 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa – and the American stressed his side’s display against Norwich had pleased him just as much as three vital points.

He said: “The points are big and we needed a reward to continue to instil belief in the transition we’re making and in the process.

“But I believe that regardless, the performance warranted a positive feeling, even if it didn’t end up in three points.

“Obviously, it’s a bigger moment for us because we find the three points but what I’m really going to focus on with the group is on how strong the connection was with the entire team tactically, mentally, psychologically, in every way.”

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Marsch confirmed fit-again striker Patrick Bamford, who made his first start since September, was withdrawn at half-time as a precaution and is expected to be fit for Friday’s game at Wolves.

Rodrigo was replaced in the second half due to a tight quad and the Spain forward will be assessed.

Norwich remain rooted to the foot of the table and boss Dean Smith could not hide his disappointment at the manner of his side’s sixth successive league defeat.

Smith also lamented the fact his side would not be in action again until April 2 after the international break.

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He said: “I’m not one to feel sorry for myself, that’s not the way I work.

“We can be really disappointed and we’ve got a tough three weeks now without a game.

“Three or four days now to work on what we want to look like in April when we play our next game and then we probably lose 14 players to international duty.

“So we’ll have a skeleton squad at the training ground for 10 days. It’s going to be sore because we put a lot into that game in the second half and came away with nothing.”

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