'Better and better and better' - Illan Meslier certain Jesse Marsch will improve Leeds United
Leeds United will continue to improve under Jesse Marsch, says Illan Meslier.
The goalkeeper was responsible for a last-gasp, win-securing save on Sunday at home to Norwich City, denying Teemu Pukki with his face. Just prior to that, Meslier had raced the length of the Elland Road pitch to leap onto his team-mates in celebration of Joe Gelhardt’s dramatic stoppage-time winner. A first win in nine outings, one that snapped a six-game losing streak, has lifted the spirits in the Leeds camp.
“It was a good atmosphere in the changing room, a good feeling for us,” said Meslier. “It’s good to be back with a win because it’s been a long time without winning a game.”
The 22-year-old has endured a difficult season in goal, thanks in chief to Leeds’ porous defence.
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No other side in the Premier League has conceded more goals than Leeds and Meslier, the club’s only ever-present player, has been the man to pick the ball out of the net 65 times.
Under Marsch, however, Leeds showed a defensive resolve against Leicester City and, after a woeful performance in the defeat by Aston Villa, enjoyed more control against Norwich City.
It wasn’t a perfect display defensively - they gave up chances, relied on the woodwork and conceded a disappointing goal as the game entered time added on - but Meslier, who made a vital stop with his face in almost the last action of a thriller, believes the team will continue to improve with the American in charge.
Wolverhampton Wanderers provide the next test, a stiff one at that, on Friday night at Molineux Stadium. Bruno Lage's men have bounced back from three straight defeats to record a pair of wins, against Watford and Everton, keeping consecutive clean sheets in the process. They sit seventh in the Premier League table, four points behind Manchester United in fifth. Where Leeds are looking over their shoulders, Wolves are still eyeing the European spots ahead of them. Meslier is hopeful for another positive result.
“I think it’s a good start with the new manager,” said the Frenchman.
“I think we saw some different things today with the team and, with time, we will be better and better and better.
“We are confident with him and I hope, in the next game, we will win again.”