Jesse Marsch issues annoying Leeds United message ahead of Manchester City visit

Whites boss Jesse Marsch expects to be "knee deep" at Leeds United until the final game of the season but has a "pesky" plan for Saturday's all-conquering visitors Manchester City.

By Lee Sobot
Friday, 29th April 2022, 4:24 pm

Fifth-bottom Leeds face three of the Premier League's top four in their next three games, starting with Saturday evening's Elland Road showdown against defending champions and title favourites City (kick-off 5.30pm).

Pep Guardiola's league leaders have lost just three times all season and know that five more wins from their final five games will ensure the successful defence of their Premier League crown.

Liverpool, who are just one point behind City as part of an epic title race, will take over top spot with either a draw or a victory in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off at Newcastle United, after which the Leeds clash will present City's game in hand.

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'PESKY' PLAN: From Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch, above, for Saturday evening's Elland Road visitors Manchester City. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

But whilst City and Liverpool are hoping to be crowned champions of the division, United's aim is to stay in it, Leeds five points clear of the drop zone with five games left although third-bottom Everton have a game in hand.

The Toffees will take on third-placed Chelsea at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon and both Everton and fourth-bottom improvers Burnley have kinder run-ins on paper than Leeds whose remaining opponents have an average league position of sixth compared to 13th for Burnley and tenth for Everton.

Burnley now sit just three points behind United on the same amount of games played having taken seven points from their last possible nine and the Clarets visit second-bottom Watford on Saturday afternoon.

Marsch, though, says he will not use vital energy over-analysing the table or pondering what might be needed to stay up and the former New York Red Bulls, RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig boss is instead focused on providing annoying opposition for title-chasing City.

Asked if he expected the title and relegation race to go to the wire and if he was surprised that the points threshold to stay up is now higher than a few weeks ago - Marsch explained: "I'm used to being on the other end of the spectrum - fighting for the title.

"I know that a lot of times, playing against the relegation teams can be a pesky match.

"And that's our job on the days to make the match pesky for Man City.

"I think that the league is so good and my respect for every team is so high that it just comes down to the focus and concentration for every game.

"And I say that all the time - I don't have the energy for more.

"I'm sorry, I don't have the energy to think about the table, and how other teams are doing and what it's gonna look like at the end of the year.

"I assumed from the very second that I took the job that I was going to be knee deep in everything until May 22 and I think it'll stay that way.

"But again, I think our focus and concentration to work, to get better, has been really good and so we have to stay with that."