Marcelo Bielsa hangover is proving 'challenging' for Leeds United players, claims Jesse Marsch

Getting Leeds United players to forget the instincts encouraged by former manager Marcelo Bielsa is no mean feat, says Jesse Marsch.

The American has done a fine job of steadying a ship which was in crisis when he was appointed to take over from Bielsa in February.

Following a string of six losses on the bounce, Leeds made it four games without defeat when they sealed a crucial 3-0 victory over relegation rivals Watford on Saturday.

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After the poor form that led to Bielsa's dismissal left them just two points clear of safety, United now sit a much more comfortable nine points ahead of the drop zone.

Despite the uplift in results, it has not been plain sailing at Thorp Arch as some of the former coach's well-drilled principles are proving difficult to unlearn.

"Marcelo had such strong man-to-man demands and trying to rip apart three-and-a-half years of work structured exactly to do that, to now transitioning into what I want to do moving forward has been challenging for the players to adapt to," Marsch said.

"They have worked really hard at it but they still fall into old habits, especially when they are fatigued on the pitch. It's normal, right?

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch. Pic: Marc Atkins.

"I'm going to tell them a story today that I was watching a video on the bus ride back and I was frustrated about some of the things that were still not right. But then when I got off the bus, I went to go and get in my car and I got in on the wrong side because I am still used to driving on the right hand side of the road."

The extended absence of several key players to injury - with Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips, and Liam Cooper all missing more than a third of the Premier League season - has played a huge role in the Whites' struggling progress after a stellar maiden season in the top flight last term.

Marsch suggested that his team selection is still suffering from his predecessor's demands.

"The injury issues had a lot to do with the training methodologies, the players were over-trained," Marsch told talkSport.

Former Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Marc Atkins.

"That led them to being physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally in a difficult place to recover from week-to-week and game-to-game.

"I have a very specific methodology in the way I work and I've had a reputation for having high running data in the way we play, but also having healthy, fit and strong players so we can meet the demands we want."

Bamford returned from a lengthy lay-off to feature in games against Aston Villa, Norwich City, and Wolves, before making a tearful exit at Molineux as a plantar fascia rupture condemned him to a further six weeks on the sidelines.

Whites boss Marsch feels guilty for the striker's predicament but says the squad are moving in the right direction injury-wise.

Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford limps off at Molineux. Pic: Laurence Griffiths.

"The one with Patrick I felt terrible about because the responsibility of a coach to take care of players and to make sure you're not injuring them and putting them in harm's way," Marsch said.

"In the end, it didn't go the way I wanted with Patrick and I always feel like it is my responsibility to get that right.

"But for the most part, we are getting healthy and strong with almost the entire group."