Marsch tells Leeds star Harrison he can be a 'son of a b*itch' on the pitch

Jack Harrison Leeds 2021-22Getty

Leeds United winger Jack Harrison must learn to be a "son of a b*tch" on the pitch, according to new boss Jesse Marsch, but hailed the former Manchester City man for his all-round qualities on and off the field.

The ex-RB Leipzig boss has taken the reins at Elland Road following Marcelo Bielsa's dismissal, with the Whites embroiled in the thick of a relegation battle - and in the process, has reunited with Harrison, who played under Marsch at New York Red Bulls.

Since joining Leeds, initially on a slew of loan moves before a permanent deal, Harrison has been one of the club's brighter performers - but Marsch says he needs a touch more aggression on the field in order to take it to the next level.

What has been said?

"When we’ve had players from the US or MLS that have come over, I’ve tried to see what their adaptation has been like and how they’ve grown," Marsch told a press conference ahead of Thursday's game against Aston Villa. "I could see that Jack had taken a lot of new responsibility here.

"He was always the type of player who was very respectful and would shake my hand and say ‘good game’. I’d heard he was a really good young man and it’s clear to see. What I’ve tried to say to him is it’s OK to be a good young man and to be a son of a b*tch on the pitch.

"He has such quality and my goal is to push him and his personality and his level of play on the field so that he can use all his strong qualities as a human being to benefit him, to continue to grow as a player, and become as dangerous, as effective as I believe he can be."

The bigger picture

Marsch faces a crucial Premier League run-in for his first job in management since he was dismissed as RB Leipzig boss, with Leeds teetering on the edge of the bottom three.

Article continues below

The Whites are out of form compared to several rivals in the race to avoid the drop, though unlike his predecessor, the American does look set to be boosted by some crucial returnees.

Patrick Bamford is expected to play a part against Steven Gerrard's Villa, while Kalvin Phillips is continuing to near a full recovery from the injury issues that have plagued his season.

Further reading