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Leeds Live
Joshua Hobbs

'Responsibility really helped me' - Bradley Wright-Phillips on playing under Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch in MLS

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch made his name as a coach at New York Red Bulls. The American had previously managed Montreal Impact for a season but after a short break from coaching, his time at New York was where he began to truly find his feet as a manager.

One of his former players, Bradley Wright-Phillips, has spoken about Marsch and hailed him as his 'favourite manager.' Under his management, Red Bulls won the 'Supporters Shield' - the award for finishing top of MLS before the play-offs - twice and Wright-Phillips starred as the striker, scoring 82 goals in 145 appearances.

Wright-Phillips stated that Marsch making him a leader in the team helped him to step up his performance levels. Leeds fans will note that Rodrigo has hit a purple patch in form soon after a conversation with Leeds' new manager, where he was asked to step up as a leader.

Read more: What Jesse Marsch's 'dream transfer profile' at Leeds United may look like amid Victor Orta meeting

"Jesse is my favourite manager I had," Wright-Phillips told MLS Soccer. "I had coaches who liked me, but I never had a manager before him who taught me how to play well. Just the way he spoke to me, even the first phone call. He told me he wanted me to be a leader, but I wasn’t that kind of person, I’m more of a soldier. Tell me what to do and I’ll get it done. He said no, you have to change that. That responsibility really helped me."

Another former player of the Red Bulls, Sacha Kljestan, also spoke about Marsch. He revealed that his first impression of the American is that he was 'crazy', as Marsch discussed tactics with him over breakfast.

"I’m still all jetlagged, but at breakfast he pulls me over and he’s drawing on a piece of paper how we’re going to play and how we’re going to press," Kljestan said.

"He’s explaining it to me, how our outside backs will press their outside backs. No one ever pressed that way. I was like: ‘This guy is f--king crazy.’"

During Marsch's time at the club, Kljestan and Wright-Phillips both made the top-three of the Landon Donovan MVP award. Leeds will hope that Marsch can communicate his ideas as well to the current players at Elland Road and finish the job of securing Premier League safety for another season. Then the tough work of climbing the table begins next season.

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