Jesse Marsch predicts Premier League relegation scrap will go right down to the wire with 40 points potentially not enough to survive as his Leeds side aim for a positive result at Arsenal
- Leeds United sit just two points above the relegation places in Premier League
- They make the trip to Arsenal in another crucial match on Sunday afternoon
- Coach Jesse Marsch expects relegation battle to go right to the final afternoon
- Leeds have Chelsea, Brighton and Brentford to face after their Emirates visit
- Relegation rivals Everton play at Leicester on Sunday after Burnley lost to Villa
Jesse Marsch has warned Leeds fans to buckle up tight for a white-knuckle ride after predicting the relegation scrap will go right to the bitter end.
The American replaced the axed Marcelo Bielsa at the end of February after the much-loved Argentinian presided over a disastrous run of just one point from six Premier League games.
Marsch has claimed a respectable 11-point haul from eight games but pressure is mounting with four matches remaining and Leeds stuck on 34 points with a minus-34 goal difference.
Jesse Marsch believes the Premier League relegation scrap will go down right to the last day
Leeds have collected 11 points from eight games – including a win at Watford – since Marsch took over from Marcelo Bielsa at the end of February
How the relegation picture in the Premier League looks ahead of Leeds’ visit to Arsenal
The Whites travel to Arsenal on Sunday and then face back-to-back home games against Chelsea and Brighton before a final-day trip to Brentford in a fortnight’s time.
Marsch said: ‘I expected it, eight games ago, to go to the final day at Brentford.
‘The league is so competitive, and so tight, that it was hard to imagine a situation where it wasn’t going to come down to the wire for us and a lot of other teams.
‘It’s interesting what Ralph Hasenhuttl said about 40 points maybe not being enough to stay up.
‘It could be true, but I’m not planning for anything other than the next match and staying in this league.
‘There is a singular focus and that’s the best phrase I can use – a singular focus on the job in hand.
The American coach reacts as Manchester City run riot at Elland Road last weekend
‘I’ve had some conversations with the players and I don’t sense anything other than a total focus, so there is no flippancy or distraction of any kind.
‘We know that it’s going to take all our intellectual, emotional and physical energy to achieve our goal.
‘I also want the fans to feel like they are part of our team and that they are right next to us along the way.’
Positivity drips from Marsch, who insisted he had no regrets about taking the Leeds job and revealed he will soon move into a permanent family home in West Yorkshire.
Regardless of whether Leeds stay up, the 48-year-old seems certain to lead them into next season.
The club’s current desperate plight is costing Marsch sleep but he insisted: ‘I’m so happy to be here and, if I had 100 more times to make this decision, I would make it a 100 times.
Arsenal were far too good for Leeds at Elland Road in December, winning the game 4-1
‘It has been a real pleasure, despite the situation! Am I getting much sleep right now? I’m trying.
‘I watch a lot of video to make sure that we analyse opponents so that I’m very clear with what I want the game to look like.
‘My wife has probably seen my face buried in the computer too much but I’m willing to do whatever it takes right now.
‘The reality is that we have to stick together, be positive, and push forward together.’
Captain Liam Cooper is set to feature against Arsenal after a knee problem and striker Patrick Bamford is also edging closer to full fitness.
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