Crystal Palace v Leeds United: Jesse Marsch press conference on team news, Adam Forshaw, Kalvin Phillips, Under 23s and Ian Poveda

Leeds United will return to Premier League action with a game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Monday.

By Flora Snelson
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 2:58 pm

The Whites look to extend their unbeaten run to five games after pulling off an essential 3-0 away victory over relegation rivals Watford earlier this month.

After losing his first two games in charge, Marsch has taken ten points from a possible twelve helping United to draw further clear from the Premier League drop zone.

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But with the Whites' scheduled fixture against Chelsea postponed due to the Blues' FA Cup semi-final participation, the teams around Leeds have had the chance to catch up to them during their 16-day Premier League hiatus.

The referee's final whistle at Vicarage Road put Leeds a huge nine points clear of the dreaded dotted line but changes at Turf Moor, where Sean Dyche was unexpectedly sacked last week, have boosted Burnley to claim four points from two of their games in hand to shrink the Whites' relegation cushion to four points.

At Selhurst Park on Monday, Marsch's side will hope to re-establish some distance between themselves and the prospect of Championship football next season against a Crystal Palace side who have lost three games on the trot after their shock win over Arsenal at the start of this month.

Marsch will be speaking to the media at 1pm and you can follow every word the United boss has to say right here on our live blog.

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch. Pic: Naomi Baker.

Crystal Palace v Leeds United: Jesse Marsch press conference

Last updated: Friday, 22 April, 2022, 14:44

  • Leeds United play Crystal Palace on Monday, with kick off set for 8pm
  • Jesse Marsch speaks to the media at 1pm on Friday

There's a lot of tactical nuances to what we're trying to achieve. I think we've come a long way in seven, eight weeks. And now it's about pushing them to be even more concentrated and clear with everything that we're doing on the pitch. From a mentality and motivation and inspiration perspective, this is a fantastic group to work with. I never had any questions about where their hearts are, and minds and it's just trying to guide their energy so that they understand on the pitch how to play with each other.  I thought that the defensive performance in Watford was very good. There were things we felt we could have done better with the ball and build up phases and and the last third, we're continuing to try to push them with the intensity of winning balls, counter pressing, of limiting the opponent in transition moments, and then still trying to be creative and and have poise in the last third of the pitch so that we can create more chances and more goals but to win three zero at Watford - I think was a was a very important result for us in a step forward for us and we're just continuing to try to iron out all of the little details to get better better.

I've seen from the beginning that he has an effect in the group, no question, because of his personality, his quality, and what it means to be part of Leeds United. My challenge to Kalvin has been to push him to be better and better and to be the best. That's my goal for him. We've talked a lot about the intensity at which I think he can play against the ball and then the ease and the clarity that he can play with the ball, and  getting that balance right and the ability to kind of shift gears from one thing to the next and he's been great in training. He had a really good training week. He's fully fit, he's fully ready and we're excited for him to be back.

Focus of past few weeks?

There's a lot of tactical nuances to what we're trying to achieve. I think we've come a long way in seven, eight weeks. And now it's about pushing them to be even more concentrated and clear with everything that we're doing on the pitch. From a mentality and motivation and inspiration perspective, this is a fantastic group to work with. I never had any questions about where their hearts are, and minds and it's just trying to guide their energy so that they understand on the pitch how to play with each other. ]

I thought that the defensive performance in Watford was very good. There were things we felt we could have done better with the ball and build up phases and and the last third, we're continuing to try to push them with the intensity of winning balls, counter pressing, of limiting the opponent in transition moments, and then still trying to be creative and and have poise in the last third of the pitch so that we can create more chances and more goals but to win three zero at Watford - I think was a was a very important result for us in a step forward for us and we're just continuing to try to iron out all of the little details to get better better.

When he first made the decision to come to the MLS, we were all excited to have somebody of his stature in the league. When he came to New York City FC, it meant that I had to hate him. But he's not an easy guy to hate because - first of all from an expertise and a work perspective, he's very good, a very good coach. And we have differing styles and different ways of thinking about the game.

But it made for always really interesting matches and we had some heated moments.

But I think over time, we grew to really respect each other. We got to know each other more and more.

One friend we had in common was Gérard Houllier, who was always there to kind of help bring us together in some moments when we had these derby matches.

I followed him in Nice and I thought he did a really, really good job there. And I was really happy to see him be in the Premier League because I think it's where he belongs.

He's very clear with the way he wants to play. I think he's very good with his players.

If you talk to players that have played for him, they all have massive respect for him. And not just because he was a good player - he was an excellent player - but because he's a good manager, so it will be a big challenge on the day. You know, we know each other pretty well. We have new groups now. It'll be a little bit again, a clash of styles but an opportunity for me and our team to test ourselves against a very good manager and a very good team.

Sean had a big history at the club. You never like to see managers lose their jobs. Everybody puts a lot into this and especially when a manager has a big history and has meant a lot to the club - I said that here with Marcelo too. But this is the business we live in. And everyone has to try to do the best that they can as players, as managers, as kitmen. So thankfully we have that here at Thorp Arch. We have an incredible group of people that are totally committed to the cause and my job is to help lead them in a way where everybody feels valued and everybody can do their best.

How many teams are in the scrap?

It depends on every result really. I don’t care about anyone else. Of course, it’s helpful when other teams don’t get points. You have to expect that the table will look a lot tighter and different. We have to just take care of ourselves.

With Arsenal, Chelsea, City next - how important is Palace?

I think there's twists and turns every night. The only thing for us to do is to just focus on us and making sure that we have a performance that gives us a chance to get the three points.

I mean, it depends on every result really so I don't really care about anyone else. Of course when you watch the other games, it's helpful when they don't get points but you have to expect it. I said right after the Watford game that by the time we play our match against Palace the table would look a lot tighter and a lot different than it already has. 

10 points in six games - what were your expectations?

I say to the group a lot that they're ahead of schedule for me. Tthey've adapted really well - we've changed the way we train, the way we play the tactics, the way we interact here at Thorp Arch, they have to get used to my leadership style, my way of communicating.

And I can honestly say that I've never had a group that has adapted and given more than what they have. It's a big compliment to the group we have here.

I'm personally really excited for the match on Monday and I know our guys are ready to get back at it.

It's a really important stretch for us to consider the incredible challenges coming up, some really good opponents but we've done a good job of staying in the moment and going step by step. And so that's my my focus right now -it’s not about how important the three points are with the upcoming schedule. It's Crystal Palace as a team - we have a lot of respect for them, they made it to the FA Cup semi final, they've had an incredible season. They have a lot of quality players that are very dangerous in one on one situations, in transition moments, and they have a really good coach. We also know that Palace is a tough place to play. So it will be a big challenge for us and it will require entire concentration and focus on the task at hand.

Maintaining Watford momentum?

The season always has ebbs and flows. And,you could argue that it would have been nice to keep playing in the moment but it was also nice to have a little bit of break to get guys more healthy. We're ready in the moment. We know that there's a lot of work to be done yet and the focus these last two weeks has been about preparing ourselves entirely to be ready for the next challenges.

It's a fractured patella. He took a knock and he was having trouble recovering from it and then it didn't feel good as the day went on. So that's where he's at.

He's a leader in the team. He's an important guy in our team. We definitely need need his presence for sure. It's unfortunate.

I think he's been really good since I've been here and really important for many years here.

The one silver lining we have is that that Kalvin is back to 100%. So Kalvin will start the match on Monday. It’s never good to lose an important player but but we have a little bit of luck in the situation that we can bring Kalvin into the mix.

But Adam has been an incredible leader and an incredible player since the moment I stepped in the door,

Opening remarks from Marsch

Two days ago, Adam was back in training. And he took a knock in a collision on his on his kneecap and unfortunately he fractured the kneecap. So he it's a six week injury so that puts him out for the season.

Adam is one of the guys in the team that I think gives more to the group and, and does everything he can to think about the team first. And so for us, this is obviously painful, because he's an important guy, but we will still have him around. He will still be a big part of the group in the next weeks and we will still need his presence within the team.

So it should be relatively straightforward recovery and then you know, by summer he'll be he'll be back and ready to go.

And then the only other two are Patrick who's making good progress and has been running and should be on the pitch next week.

And then Tyler Roberts is also making good progress.

And then you know, I haven't spoken at all since the comments I made on talkSPORT about overtraining and Marcelo and I want to say that this was not intentional to to attack Marcelo in any way. It was a little bit careless and I can see how it was interpreted in that way, but it was more about the state of the player pool and what I had observed and trying to help take the team forward.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find an incoming coach that has spoken more positively about the person he replaced in the way that I've spoken about Marcelo and it's because I have major respect for him. So I you know, haven't said anything about anything after that.

I want to make sure that again, the respect for Marcelo that everyone understands that that was at a very, very high level from me and from everyone here.

And then the last thing I want to say is, congratulations to Patrick Vieira for being inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. Well deserved and and I don't know if you can be inducted twice as a manager as well, but I think he has high potential to be an incredible manager in this league for many years as well. So congratulations, Patrick.

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