Jesse Marsch has described Leeds United’s travails as “painful” and said he must “stop the bleeding” as his position came under increased scrutiny following defeat against Fulham on Sunday.
Although the Elland Road board approached the game with an apparent resolve to offer their American manager time to put things right, the club are now in the Premier League relegation zone after four successive defeats.
Leeds have gone eight matches without a win but Marsch, who replaced Marcelo Bielsa at the club last spring, made it clear he believes he retains the support of his directors following talks with the hierarchy.
“The board and I are unified completely,” replied a manager subjected to loud boos and chants of “sacked in the morning” at the final whistle when he was asked if he expected to still be in charge for the trip to Liverpool next weekend.
“We’ve had clear discussions that we’re in this together. I understand the frustration from the fans. We’re equally frustrated but we’re together. We’re unified. The players have been great, too. I know it hasn’t been easy for them or us but we believe in them; I just have to find ways to help them get better.
“It’s painful right now and I take responsibility. I have to find a way to put us on the right path and stop the bleeding. We have to do everything we can to try to figure out how to get the win.”
Marsch believes restoring confidence to be among his principal tasks. “It’s going to be about discipline, confidence and belief. We’re not converting chances in our good moments but we mustn’t stop believing. We have to stay strong and stay together. In our good moments we can be quite good, we can be aggressive and play attractive football with intensity and power.
“But, in our weak moments we look naive and vulnerable and are too weak defensively. I take responsibility. I have to find solutions, get momentum and kickstart our season.”
For the moment at least, he does not want to alter tactics or philosophy. “If we were getting killed in matches we’d have more to worry about but it’s not like that. We’re creating some good chances – and I believe things can change quickly.
“Today’s game was in the balance but Fulham are a team with confidence and it showed. Part of the problem is we’re so anxious to get forward so quickly the game starts to open up and we struggle with transitions.”
Marco Silva was considerably happier after Fulham rose to seventh, with their Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring his ninth goal in 11 league matches. “We were the best team, we deserved to win,” said the manager, who revealed Mitrovic is carrying a slight ankle injury. “We’ve shown we can cope with the pressure – and Mitro is a top player. He’s brilliant. He’s a really, really important player, and there’s much more to come from him.”