Jesse Marsch pays tribute to Leeds United staff member amid links to vacant managerial post

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Leeds United first-team coach Mark Jackson is of interest to League One strugglers MK Dons who are looking to fill their vacant managerial post

Jesse Marsch stated it was not his place to discuss the future of first-team coach Mark Jackson during his pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon. It follows links between Jackson and the vacant managerial position at Milton Keynes Dons, following the sacking of Liam Manning.

Former head coach Manning was relieved of his duties at stadium:mk earlier this month with the side 22nd in the table. In the past two weeks, Jackson has emerged as a leading candidate to replace the 37-year-old. The Leeds coach was not present on Wednesday night as the Whites were beaten by AS Monaco in a mid-season friendly at Elland Road.

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Jackson has worked in various roles at United’s Thorp Arch academy setup, leading the Under-18 side before taking on the role of Lead Development Coach for the club’s Under-23s. The former Leeds player led the youngsters to Premier League 2 Division 2 success in 2020/21, and was promoted to Marsch’s backroom team earlier this year.

Jackson’s stay as first-team coach was made permanent in the summer, as the 45-year-old signed an extension to his deal at Elland Road along with individual training coach Cameron Toshack.

“Listen, all I can really talk about right now is that Jacko has been an absolute asset for me from the first day that I stepped foot into this building,” Marsch said.

“He has done everything and more than I could have hoped, his passion, his commitment, his love of this club made him essential, essential for me and for us, in our quest to stay in the league. And I fully believe that without him, we wouldn't have stayed in the league.

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“He helped me understand what the culture of the club is, what the culture of the fans [is], what the history means, to what we're building here. He helped me understand the player pool, what was done in the past, what he thinks we need to do in the future. He committed himself to what I was doing entirely.

“It’s not for me to talk about what may be out there or what his future may be but I can only say that I value him completely as a person and as a football mind and I can see why there’s interest in him because I think he has a big future,” the American added.

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