Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has said that his players were “over-trained” under the previous management of Marcelo Bielsa and added it is still a challenge for the players to adapt to his style.
Bielsa was sacked and replaced by Marsch in February but the Argentine remains a club legend after guiding Leeds back into the Premier League for the first time in 16 years in 2020.
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Despite finishing in ninth place in their return to the top-flight, Leeds slipped closer to relegation this season after a number of injures to key players and a refusal from Bielsa to change his tactics.
After losing his first two matches in charge, Marsch has guided Leeds to three wins in their last four games and the team are nine points clear of the bottom three, but the American coach said it has not been an easy journey.
“The injury issue, for me, had a lot to do with the training methodology,” he told UK radio station talkSPORT on Tuesday. “These players were over-trained and it led to them being physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically in a difficult place to recover from week to week, game to game.
“I have a very specific methodology with the way I work and I’ve had a reputation for high running data, but also being having a healthy, fit, strong players — who can meet the standards of the game we want.”
Marsch added: “You could see it in their faces. You could see in the 15th minute that some of them were already at the max – and that shouldn’t be the case.
“The other part is just the playing style. Marcelo had such a strong man-v-man playing style. And trying to rip the players away from three-and-a-half years of being instructed to do exactly that, transitioning into what we’re trying to do, has been massively challenging for the players to adapt to.
“They’ve worked really hard at it, but they still fall into bad habits, especially when they’re fatigued on the pitch. It’s normal.”