Leeds boss Jesse Marsch praised the resolve of his players after they came back from 2-0 down to beat Wolves 3-2 at Molineux.
The Whites went into the match having arrested a run of six defeats by beating Norwich City 2-1 last time out. But it seemed as though another loss was looming after Jonny and Francisco Trincao bagged first-half goals for Bruno Lage’s side. Incredibly, Leeds lost three players to injury during the first 45 minutes.
Patrick Bamford, Diego Llorente and Mateusz Klich all succumbed to injury. The outlook seemed bleak but the game turned on Raul Jimenez’s red card early in the second period.
The Mexican collided with Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier and referee Kevin Friend produced a second yellow card. The hosts may have been down to ten men but Leeds were forced into another substitution as Meslier was replaced by Kristoffer Klaesson.
But Jack Harrison gave Leeds hope with a 63rd-minute strike and three minutes later Rodrigo drew the sides level. And one minute into stoppage time, Luke Ayling completed a remarkable turnaround by netting the winner.
Marsch hails Leeds spirit
Marsch was a relieved man after the final whistle. And the American paid tribute to his charges’ character in claiming three vital points.
“Yeah the first half wasn’t what we wanted and we knew Wolves are a good team and they were able to pull us apart more than we hoped and the second goal before half-time was a killer,” he told Sky Sports.
“It’s a group that has big hearts, quality young men and I’m very thankful to be here with them and to be in a fight with them because even though I’ve only been here a short while I believe in them.
“When we were a man up you hope we can push on and then we can push for the second goal and that’s what happened.”
The result means Leeds are now seven points clear of the relegation zone. Marsch is taking nothing for granted as he knows there is a long way to go.
And he revealed two key aspects that he has worked on with the players since arriving at Elland Road.
“We are still learning and adjusting to the football I want us to play but in the meantime I know we can draw on the mentality and the identity of the club,” he added.
“I think we still have a lot of work to do and I am just focused on controlling our mentality and work ethic and if we control that then I think we have the quality to do well.”