Jesse Marsch convinced Leeds can retain Premier League status
Head coach Jesse Marsch is confident Leeds “can control their own destiny” and retain their Premier League status after coming from a 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Wolves.
Luke Ayling smashed home a stoppage-time winner in one of the season’s top flight games to lift Leeds seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Wolves had threatened to sweep Leeds away after a dominant first-half display in which goals from Jonny and substitute Francisco Trincao gave them a 2-0 lead.
But striker Raul Jimenez was sent off for a second yellow card after his 53rd-minute challenge against Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier and the visitors turned the game around to equalize through Jack Harrison and Rodrigo.
Asked if he thought Leeds would stay up, Marsch said: “Everton won last night and I didn’t care because all I want to focus on is us.
“I just want us to stay true and stay calm in our process, push each other every day, to find a way.
“I believe we have the quality of people and players that we can control our own destiny and find a way to not only survive in this situation but also thrive. That’s the point.
Leeds’ response was all the more impressive as they were forced to withdraw four players through injury, three of them before half-time.
Patrick Bamford aggravated a foot problem, Diego Llorente suffered a back spasm, Mateusz Klich suffered a concussion and Meslier was sent off with a hip contusion after colliding with Jimenez.
Marsch said he told his players that Leeds’ win was one of the best he had ever seen.
“I told them it was not just one of the best results of my career, but what I saw in the game, really,” said the American, whose team snatched the win via a goalscorer in stoppage time against Norwich on Sunday.
“It’s two games in a row now,” added Marsch. “It’s about the character and heart of our men. They deserve all the credit.
“They’re the ones who stepped up and believed in themselves and moment by moment pushed the game and we’re going to continue to build on that mindset.”
Wolves boss Bruno Lage said his side were in full control until Jimenez was sacked and criticized referee Kevin Friend.
Lage said: “Something is wrong with this situation. Anyone can make bad decisions, but then when you watch the picture on TV and you’ve seen it, it’s a bad decision.
“When you see the picture and it was heavy body contact. Both boys tried to win the ball. I know the ref looked at the picture before and he continued with the same opinion. I don’t have nothing to say about it.
The Portuguese regretted the chances his side failed to convert as they trailed 2-0 but said he was proud of their first-half performance.
Lage added: “We play as we should play at home. We controlled the game from the first minute, we dominated everything. We know Leeds are good at pressing, but we controlled and managed the ball.
“We created a lot of chances and we could have scored more goals. We have to grow. We had to kill the game.
“For 45 minutes with good football, maybe the best I’ve seen from us this season. Goals and opportunities and I’m proud of my players.