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Leeds owners hold team meeting to boost survival bid


London (AFP) – Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has hailed the spirit at the relegation-threatened Premier League club after owners met with the squad in an attempt to boost their survival push.

Marsch’s side are in grave danger of slipping back into the Championship after just two seasons in the top flight, with just two games left.

Leeds are third bottom of the table, below Burnley on goal difference heading into Sunday’s game against Brighton.

A 3-0 home defeat against Chelsea on Wednesday pushed Leeds closer to the trap door but Marsch said the following day the club’s ownership addressed the manager and his players.

“We actually had ownership speak to the team yesterday, they were all totally unified,” Marsch said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

Leeds are joint-owned by chairman Andrea Radrizzani and 49ers Enterprises, the investment arm of NFL franchise San Francisco 49ers.

Leeds vice-chairman Paraag Marathe, president of 49ers Enterprises, was watching from the stands for the Chelsea game and Marsch said the owners’ show of support had been “incredibly helpful”.

“In difficult moments, I’ve been really impressed with everybody’s ability to stay together, unified, supportive,” said the manager, who replaced the sacked Marcelo Bielsa in February.

“That part’s been awesome, and it allows me to focus on what I need to do to get the job done with our team.

“I think they just tried to say that we have everything still in our grasp, and (focus on) our ability to recover and go again and believe.”

Burnley travel to top-four chasers Tottenham on Sunday, giving Leeds hope that their relegation rivals could drop points.

Everton, two points ahead of Leeds, face Brentford on Sunday, buoyed by taking seven points out of the past nine on offer.

“It’s been a big push on and off the pitch for the club and sustaining that is not easy and not normal,” said manager Frank Lampard.

“We’re not over the line. The minute you switch off or you stop doing the good things this game can punish you.

“To try to keep that momentum until the end of the season is a big deal.”

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