By Mark Walker, PA Sport
Leeds head coach Jesse Marsch aims to turn his touchline ban for Sunday’s home Premier League game against Aston Villa into an advantage.
Marsch has been an animated presence in the technical area since taking over from Marcelo Bielsa in February, but over-stepped the mark in Leeds’ recent defeat at Brentford.
His furious protests after his side were denied a second-half penalty earned him a red card. He was later hit with a one-match suspension and fined £10,000 by the Football Association.
The American said: “I actually like the vantage point of being up high, I think it allows you to see the match better.
“I’ve often considered actually managing or coaching from that position, and then coming in at half-time and things like that.
“It’s a test to see how good we can be, how much we can be unified, how clear we are with everything on a day where I’m not right on top of everything.”
Marsch said he still disagreed with the penalty verdict, his red card and ban, but chose not to appeal because he “wanted to respect their decision”.
“When I was in Leipzig, actually the last three matches I coached from the kitchen with Covid, so this is hardly as bad as that,” the 48-year-old said.
“I’m just banned from the touchline, I can be with them before the match and at half-time in the dressing room.
“I’ll watch the game from the gantry and I’ll have communication with the staff, but I believe that the team will be fully prepared and ready and I know that the staff will also do a really good job in my absence on the touchline.”
Leeds will be back in action for the first time in four weeks after the Queen’s death and the international break and several key players have emerged fully-fit following injury.
Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo, skipper Liam Cooper, Luke Ayling and Junior Firpo are all in contention, while Marsch revealed summer signing Wilfried Gnonto will also be included in the squad.
Marsch described Gnonto as one for the future when the teenager arrived from FC Zurich on deadline day and signed a five-year deal.
But the 18-year-old forward has forced Marsch’s hand after making his sixth senior appearance – and third start – for Roberto Mancini’s Italy in Monday’s Nations League win in Hungary.
Marsch added: “I can say that he has pleasantly surprised all of us in almost every way. He’s been fantastic.
“He will be in the squad this weekend and we think he can play a big role for us now. I guess you can say I would revise my statement.”