By Joe Ellis

6th Mar, 2022 | 4:40pm

Leeds United face 'tough task' to change fortunes amid relegation fight

Leeds United suffered defeat in Jesse Marsch’s first game in charge as Leicester City edged a close affair 1-0 at the King Power Stadium.

Harvey Barnes’ second-half strike was enough to give the Foxes all three points despite a spirited performance from the Whites.

Leeds had plenty of chances to find the net themselves but lacked that clinical touch that has been missing all season long thanks to injuries to Patrick Bamford.

Former Premier League footballer Nigel Reo-Coker thinks Marsch has a tricky task ahead of him to change the Whites’ fortunes with such a short amount of time to go until the end of the season.

“They were open 24/7 and they conceded a lot of goals,” Reo-Coker said on the BBC’s Football Daily Podcast. “I watched the game and they did play well, a lot more counter-attacking and organised.

“But still, for all the chances they had and the situation they are in, to lose one to Leicester is going to hurt.

“It’s a very tough task he has on his hands there to change the mentality of that club and it’s all down to the style of play.

“To change that in the middle of a season in the middle of a relegation battle, I think it’s a tough task.”

Have to start somewhere

Yesterday may have ultimately resulted in defeat but it was still a big step in the right direction.

Leeds fans have been used to high-intensity football and that was still present in Marsch’s tactics but with the added defensive stability that had gone AWOL in the closing months of Marcelo Bielsa’s reign.

The Whites welcome Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa to Elland Road on Thursday for Marsch’s first home game as manager and if they can start putting their chances away, they could be in for a good time.

Having said that, Villa themselves are coming off the back of a brilliant 4-0 win at home to Southampton and will be keen to ride that wave against the strugglers.

It should be a highly entertaining game nonetheless and one definitely worth watching however you can.

In other Leeds United news, the majority of the players have been pictured celebrating despite yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium.