Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch will draw on his collection of inspirational quotes from Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali in a bid to motivate his players in their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Marsch, who took charge of Leeds in March after Marcelo Bielsa was sacked, faces an uphill task to keep the club ranked 18th in the top flight after dropping to the bottom three at the weekend.
They have 34 points from 35 games, the same as 17th-placed Burnley, who have a better goal difference. Everton, in 16th place, have 35 points after playing one less game.
– Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (US only)
– ESPN+ Viewer’s Guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s vital clash against Chelsea, Marsch said motivational messages and quotes from Indian independence hero Gandhi and heavyweight boxing great Ali were part of his big collection.
“I have hundreds of quotes that I use at different times,” Marsch told reporters, adding that NBA icon Michael Jordan, former Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson and football great Vince Lombardi also inspire him.
“I try to think how they fit who I am and the way we play football. I love quotes, learning from people from the past. Sports personalities, historical figures, whatever. The key is to understand which messages to use at the right time.”
Marsch said France’s 1998 World Cup winners and America’s 2008 Olympics basketball champions also inspired him.
“I love the basketball culture in America,” Marsch added. “The way they combine inner-city kids with incredible college graduates and mentors is amazing.
“I use things that resonate with me…there are historical figures, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, presidents like John F. Kennedy.”
Leeds, who were promoted to the top flight in 2020 after a 16-year absence, face Brighton & Hove Albion at home after the Chelsea game and end their campaign at Brentford.
“We knew going into those three games it was going to be very difficult to score points,” Marsch said.
“Our goal is to control every moment. Thanks to Burnley and Everton. They also fought for their lives. We will do the same.”