Head coach Jesse Marsch is convinced Leeds “can control their own destiny” and retain their Premier League status after bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit and winning 3-2 at Wolves.
Uke Ayling tumbled home as an added-time winner in one of the top-flight games of the season, clinching Leeds seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Wolves had threatened to sweep Leeds aside after a dominant first-half display that saw them take a 2-0 lead through goals from Jonny and substitute Francisco Trincao.
But striker Raul Jimenez was sent off for a second yellow card after his tackle on Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier in the 53rd minute, and the visitors turned the game around to equalize through Jack Harrison and Rodrigo.
Asked if he thinks Leeds will stay up, Marsch said: “Everton won last night and I didn’t care because I just want to focus on us.
“I just want us to stay true to our process and stay calm, pushing ourselves every day to find a way.
I think we have the quality of people and players that we can control our own destinyjess march
“I believe we have the quality of people and players that we can control our own destiny and find a way not just to survive in this situation, but to thrive in it. That is the goal.”
Leeds’ comeback was all the more impressive after four players had to sit out through injury, three of them before half-time.
Patrick Bamford aggravated a foot problem, Diego Llorente had a back spasm, Mateusz Klich suffered a concussion and Meslier had to pull out with a bruised hip following his collision with Jimenez.
Marsch said he told his players the Leeds win was one of the best he had seen.
“I told them that not only was it one of the best results of my career, I really saw it in that game,” said the American, whose side clinched victory against Norwich on Sunday with an injury-time win .
“It’s now two games in a row,” added Marsch. “It’s about the character and the hearts of our men. You deserve all the credit.
“They’re the ones who tried and believed in themselves and pushed the game from moment to moment and we’ll continue to draw on that mindset.”
“2-0, 11v11, we dominated the game. If we want to do something special this season, we have to keep working and playing like we did in the first 45 minutes.”
— wolves (@wolves) March 18, 2022
Wolves boss Bruno Lage said his side were in full control until Jimenez was sacked and criticized referee Kevin Friend.
Lage said: “Something is going wrong in this situation. Anyone can make bad decisions, but after seeing the picture on TV, it’s a bad decision.
“If you see the picture and it was a big body contact. Both boys tried to conquer the ball. I know the referee saw the picture before and went on with the same opinion. I have nothing to say about that.”
The Portuguese regretted the chance his side failed to convert from a 2-0 lead but said he was proud of their first-half performance.
Lage added: “We play the way we have to play at home. We controlled the game from the first minute, we dominated everything. We know Leeds are strong in pressing but we controlled and managed the ball.
“We created a lot of chances and could have scored more goals. We have to grow up. We had to kill the game.
“For 45 minutes of good football, maybe the best I’ve seen from us this season. Goals and chances and I’m proud of my players.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/jesse-marsch-convinced-leeds-can-retain-premier-league-status-41464275.html Jesse Marsch convinced Leeds can retain Premier League status