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Jesse Marsch urges Leeds players not to fall foul of frustration

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-10-03

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Jesse Marsch has urged his players not to become frustrated by the opposition’s time-wasting tactics when they visit Elland Road.

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard admitted after Sunday’s goalless Premier League draw that his side had deliberately tried to slow the game down in a bid to counter Leeds ’ high-tempo style.

Marsch’s 10 men held on for a point in an ill-tempered start-stop encounter after Luis Sinisterra’s dismissal early in the second half.

Leeds’ head coach said: “I almost feel like we have to apologise (to fans) because they don’t get an entertaining match.

“They get a match that’s totally slowed down from the opponent from the very first whistle and then they don’t really get to enjoy coming to Elland Road the way that they can and should.”

The American said he had already spoken with the Professional Game Match Officials Board about how referees should deal with the issue.

“Our fans like to see our team play with aggression and play with power, specifically against the ball, and teams are trying to flip the script a little bit on how to play that – it’s not new,” Marsch said.

“In my career playing this way, I’ve encountered that a lot and we’ve already seen it this year, and discussions have already been had.

“I’ve, in the past, had more referees that were able to manage it better than what we’re getting here.

“So it leads to frustration for everyone in the crowd, but the key for us is not to allow it to be frustration for us.”

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Sinisterra was sent off for his second yellow card after failing to retreat and raising his leg to prevent a quickly-taken free-kick.

“That was not an intelligent decision,” Marsch said of the Colombia winger, while referee Stuart Attwell dished out five other yellow cards.

Villa created more goalscoring chances, going closest when Philippe Countinho’s volley struck a post and Ollie Watkins was unable to convert the rebound.

Gerrard felt his side missed a golden chance to secure their third league win of the season and his frustration was shared by skipper John McGinn.

The Scotland midfielder told Villa TV: “When a team goes down to 10 men with 40 minutes to go, then the onus is on us to go and create chances and take those.

“And we did create those chances, maybe not as many as we would like, but we didn’t take them and that’s the frustrating thing.

“We’ve become a little bit nastier to play against, which is a good thing. But the overall feeling is frustration in the dressing room.”

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