Five things spotted from Jesse Marsch's first week of Leeds United training as star player returns to action

Jesse Marsch has been appointed manager of Leeds United following the sacking of Marcelo Bielsa.
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The former RB Leipzig boss has been tasked with guiding the Whites to safety after a disastrous run of form has left them just two points clear of the drop zone.

There are 12 games left for Marsch to turn around United's season, starting with a trip to Leicester City on Saturday March 5.

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Since he took the helm at Thorp Arch on Monday, the American has had just five days to prepare his players for the Premier League contest.

Marsch has been putting Leeds players through their paces this week and introducing clear concepts that he hopes will help his team beat the drop.

The club uploaded footage of Marsch and his squad making preparations to their YouTube channel.

Here are five things we spotted.

1. The return of Patrick Bamford

Patrick Bamford was back out on the grass at Thorp Arch this week.

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The striker won't be repeating his 17-goal contribution to Leeds this term, having already missed more than half of the season's games to injury.

In September, Bamford was ruled out with an ankle issue picked up in the Whites' 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch leads training at Thorp Arch. Pic: Simon Marper.Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch leads training at Thorp Arch. Pic: Simon Marper.
Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch leads training at Thorp Arch. Pic: Simon Marper.

He worked his way back to fitness in time for the Brentford home fixture, when Bamford stepped off the bench in December to equalise in injury time before injuring his hamstring in his celebration.

After the forward's muscular problem had been resolved, Bamford struggled with pain in the bottom of his foot.

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In his press conference on Thursday afternoon, Marsch confirmed that Bamford is 'close' to returning.

2. Dan James' pace

Leeds United first-team coach Mark Jackson.Leeds United first-team coach Mark Jackson.
Leeds United first-team coach Mark Jackson.

Marsch asked his players to 'push yourselves' during a session of sprints at Thorp Arch.

Leaving his team-mates for dust, James completed his sprint in rapid time, making it seem effortless.

It remains to be seen whether Marsch will continue with James - a natural winger - in the number nine role, as was Bielsa's preference in the absence of Bamford.

3. Slowing things down

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During a passing drill, Marsch can be heard saying to his players, 'it doesn't have to be 100mph, but look sharp'.

This seems like a departure from Bielsa's all-out style of overwhelming Leeds' opponents, as Marsch looks to temper the Argentine's approach.

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford. Pic: George Wood.Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford. Pic: George Wood.
Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford. Pic: George Wood.

In his press conference on Thursday, Marsch explained how he plans not to overhaul his predecessor's system, but to adapt it.

"The key, for me, of changing some of these demands is that we still maintain and actually build upon that idea of what football is and what character and what hard work for each other is," Marsch said.

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"The balance is to create a different process in terms of how we relate with each other, but maintain and build upon this intensity and belief that that is what can make us different and what can make us good."

4. Cresswell and Jacko

Charlie Cresswell and Mark Jackson looked to be having a good laugh about a dispute over rules during a training drill.

Having taken the step up to first-team coach, former Under 23s boss Jackson will get the chance to play a part in the further development of those players, including Cresswell, who he helped make the leap from academy to first team.

Marsch arrives at Elland Road with a reputation for developing young talent, so it will be interesting to see how the pair combine to influence the careers of the likes of Cresswell, Joe Gelhardt, and Sam Greenwood.

5. Crysencio Summerville

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Crysencio Summerville has been involved in first-team training under Marsch this week.

The youngster has had a tricky few weeks after a move to German side Hamburg reportedly fell through in the January transfer window.

Bielsa shone further spotlight on the winger's desire to depart the club when he raised the potential move in a press conference, declaring that he wouldn't stand in Summerville's way.

Summerville has made five Premier League appearances this season and is one of the players who may benefit from a change of personnel at Leeds.

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