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Marsch: U.S. past helps Leeds handle U.K. heat

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Published in Soccer
Thursday, 11 August 2022 07:48

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has said his experience in the United States will help prepare the team to excel during a heatwave.

Temperatures in England are expected to reach around 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday when Leeds travel to Southampton for their Premier League game.

However, Marsch is confident that his days of training Major League Soccer club New York Red Bulls in the heat will prove to be an advantage ahead of this weekend's clash.

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"One thing about football in the U.S. or sport in the U.S. in the summer is it's hot. It's always hot, it's blistering," he told a news conference on Thursday.

"There are things that I've learned about how to handle fatigue, heat and managing matches that way, when I was in New York the discussion was always well: 'Can you play pressing football in the heat in the summer?'

"And actually our record during matches that was over 90 or 85 F -- which is like 30 or 28 C here -- was really, really strong. So, it's about being aggressive in the right moments. It'll be about managing the mentally what the fatigue will be.

"And then making sure that the players that we bring off the bench will be ready to go. So this I think is a moment where five subs if we use them the right way can be really impactful and helpful in the match."

Leeds sealed a comeback 2-1 win over Wolves in their Premier League opener last week.

Marsch also praised United States international Brenden Aaronson who enjoyed an impressive debut for the club. The midfielder's pressing led to an opening goal for Rodrigo before he looked poised to turn in a cross for the winning goal that was ultimately credited as an own goal for Wolves defender Rayan Ait-Nouri.

"He is claiming the goal, yes. If you look at it, I do think it hits him in the leg. So I don't know if they want to change it or whatever," Marsch added.

"I think Brenden showed his qualities and in a similar way that he showed them all preseason. Speaking to all the new players who hadn't played in a Premier League match yet, they all acknowledged the fact that the level is very high, and the demands are very high, but they all enjoyed the challenge. Brenden, I think, is one of those.

"Physically managing the game, the pace of the game that demands tactically being sharp and clear and committing to the match always is and will continue to be a challenge in the games in this league.

"But all four of those guys, including Brenden, and I've already spoken about what a good learner he is, and how adaptable he is, I think all four guys are going to get better and better. That's the goal for the entire group and the team."

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