Jesse Marsch uses Mahatma Gandhi quote to inspire Leeds but American tells his players they must ‘fight like hell’ as they slip into the relegation zone
Leeds manager Jesse Marsch is going to have to pull out all the stops to avoid relegation from the Premier League, with Mahatma Gandhi being next on his list of motivational tools.
The Whites were sucked into the bottom three as a 2-1 loss to Arsenal saw things take a worrying turn.
Meanwhile, Everton beat Leicester to lift Marsch’s men out of the relegation zone, with Leeds now having to stage their final three games without talismanic duo Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling.
USA coach Marsch struggled to keep up after replacing fan favorite Marcelo Bielsa in February, but he was off to a good start.
A comeback of three wins from their opening six matches looked set to secure Leeds first-flight status, but they were doomed to back-to-back defeats as two Eddie Nketiah goals for Arsenal brought them down at the Emirates Stadium.
Leeds will need a lot of conviction if they are to beat Everton and Burnley to stay in the league, and as winger Jack Harrison has revealed, their inspiration came from a surprise source.
The former Manchester City man said: “[Marsch] showed a Gandhi quote before the game about belief and that’s the most important thing for us.
“Just having faith and everything else comes after that, sticking together and tactics and everything like that.
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“At this stage it’s a difficult moment for us as a club, but we have to stick together, we have to have confidence and keep moving forward together in a positive way.”
Marsch previously went viral for his inspirational team chats while managing Red Bull Salzburg, motivating his players while shouting at them in a mix of German and English.
However, these locker room clips showed a slightly different approach to Gandhi’s nonviolent protest that won India independence from British colonial rule in 1948.
The Wisconsin native clearly went back to his old ways at halftime, telling his players to “fight like hell”.
And despite Ayling being shown a red card in the 27th minute, his ten men improved in the second half as Diego Llorente’s second-half goal gave them a chance to salvage the draw.
“My message at half-time was that we can’t make a bad situation worse,” Marsch revealed.
“We have to fight like hell in this game and that it wasn’t over and put together a second-half performance that we could still use as a positive, and we have to do that now.”
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