By George Overhill

7th Dec, 2022 | 9:40am

Jesse Marsch posts Wednesday update from Leeds United training camp with eye on Manchester City

Jesse Marsch has posted an update from the Leeds United training camp in Spain highlighting the focus on the Manchester City game.

The Whites have a friendly against Victor Orta’s former side Elche next as part of a run of friendlies after returning to work following a break during the World Cup, ahead of the 28 December return to action against the reigning champions.

Marsch has been putting his squad through their paces amid the six-week lay-off from league responsibilities and delivered a message direct to the fans on how things are going.

Writing on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday morning (7 December) the Whites boss said: “The lads have been working really hard here at training camp in Spain.

“We’re looking forward to a good match against Elche tomorrow, always with an eye on our first game back after the break against Man City.”

Focus

It is imperative that Marsch gets the most out of the unique mid-season break, as the first half of the season has been highly inconsistent.

An excellent start to the campaign had Leeds United sitting in the European places early on, before a considerable downward trend raised fears of another relegation battle, as well as the prospect that the American could lose his job.

Three dramatic games on the trot heading into the World Cup break saw the Whites pick up late wins at Liverpool and at home to Bournemouth, before pushing Tottenham all the way in the capital.

But even those games carried an air of chaos which feels unsustainable, particularly without a tightening up at the back.

The January window could be key but it would be foolhardy for the manager to rely on new arrivals, especially after what happened last season when Marcelo Bielsa appeared in dire need of additions.

It may be Marsch’s tactics which are leaving his centre-backs woefully exposed, with full-backs pushed high and little shield provided by the midfield, but defensive vulnerability lost the game at Spurs and almost threw the points away against Bournemouth so must be addressed.

He has got much stronger performances from his side against the biggest teams so as daunting as a meeting with Pep Guardiola and City inevitably is, there will be some hope that a long run up for the clash bears fruit.

In other Leeds United news, the club have already been damaged on the pitch by a potential transfer target during the World Cup break.