Jesse Marsch frustrated Leeds came to life only when West Ham took the lead

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has admitted his side cannot play the full 90 minutes without fear after a 2-2 home Premier League draw with West Ham.

Rodrigo’s second-half goal saved a point for Leeds after Lucas Paqueta and Gianluca Scamacca’s penalty disallowed Wilfried Gnonto’s opener.

Leeds remained 14th in the table, two points above the relegation zone, while West Ham dropped out of the top three with this draw, which followed five consecutive league defeats and extended a winless run to six games.

Marsch said: “I’m happy with the way we pushed the game to 2-1 (relegation), but I’m very frustrated that our players had to concede at this point in the game to play at their level, their ability and their fearlessness.

“The first half wasn’t good enough for me. We played too much backwards, we invited the opponent to the game too much.

“There’s a bit of frustration and confusion about how to make them what I know they can become, be the band I know we can be.

“And how to get them to remove that idea of ​​pressure and stress and focus on what exactly the game should be and then perform at our level.”

Leeds, who have picked up two points in their three league games since play resumed after the World Cup break, failed to win thanks to two brilliant saves from Lukasz Fabianski who stopped Rodrigo’s next two tries.

After the match, Marsch and his players donned farewell shirts in tribute to Mateusz Klich, who left the bench just after an hour to play for the last time in the club’s colors.

Leeds later confirmed that the Polish midfielder, who had been instrumental in the club’s promotion under Marcelo Bielsa in 2020, had received an offer from Major League Soccer team rumored to be Wayne Rooney’s DC United.

Klich’s contract at Leeds does not expire until 2024, but Marsch has not been able to guarantee the player enough playing time and his new contract offer is too good for him to turn down.

“It wasn’t a black and white decision,” Marsch added. “It was a lot of different discussions, Klichy was given a chance that he felt was a bit longer and provided stability for his family and tried something new.

“It’s not going to be easy to lose him and if we said it was between him and me, we’re not absolutely sure if it’s the right decision, but I certainly wish him the best.”

West Ham boss David Moyes has said he is pleased with his side’s performance after taking their first league point since October.

Moyes said: “We fought hard. It was a good old-fashioned game at times. I felt that when we were leading 2-1 we would go on and win the game, and if anything we would give the game to Leeds.

“But it’s a step in the right direction. Scoring a point at Leeds United is a good result for many teams. This is for us right now.”

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