Leeds United employee hails Thorp Arch 'transformation' after 'brilliant' Illan Meslier reveal
Noel Whelan has insisted Jesse Marsch’s defensive “transformation” will have given Illan Meslier a major confidence boost at Leeds United.
The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, heralded the 48-year-old for making the Whites much more “resilient” at the back.
Speaking at his press conference on Thursday (28 April), Marsch revealed the “best thing” he has seen from Meslier in recent weeks has been an increase in confidence.
The American boss also heralded the 22-year-old’s “mentality” after playing against Watford despite not training in the days prior.
Whelan insisted Marsch’s tactics will have had a big impact on the Frenchman.
Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Jesse Marsch has come in, we’ve scrapped the man-for-man marking and I think we look a lot more solid, a lot more resilient.
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“The nearest man goes and closes down, it doesn’t matter who it is. There are bodies in front of Meslier, protecting him. It’s that resilience, that passion, that desire to keep a clean sheet.
“Then obviously, you’ve got the brilliant Meslier. When it comes to the shot-stopping, he’s doing his part. Everyone’s playing their part when it comes to defending and protecting our goal.
“We saw that the other night against Palace, we were under the cosh quite a bit. People were putting their bodies on the line, throwing their bodies in front of shots.
“Then Meslier steps up and is that man that we need in those certain times as well. There’s that desire to keep clean sheets.
“We haven’t had some for a long time. You go back to conceding 20 in four games, we don’t look like that side anymore. That’s the transformation Jesse Marsch has had on the side.”