Paul Merson 'can't believe' Leeds decided to sack boss Jesse Marsch ahead of their upcoming games against Manchester United and said he felt 'sorry' for the 49-year-old. 

Leeds sacked Marsch on Monday evening after less than a year in charge. The club's owners were concerned about the American's reign given the fact Leeds had taken just 11 points from the last 51 on offer in the Premier League. 

Merson criticised Leeds' decision to sack Marsch and said the club's string of bad results was down to 'bad luck' rather than poor managerial skills. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: 'I can't believe what's happened at Leeds. I cannot believe what they've done. They've got back-to-back matches coming up against Manchester United in the space of four days and they've sacked the manager.

'Let's be honest, this team is bang unlucky. Surely people are watching and thinking that the Leeds players were running around and putting the effort in for the manager. They just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net.

'This is Leeds' biggest game of the season but it feels like the club have written it off. It's like they've said lets get these two games out of the way and we'll start our push from there. But everyone knows anything can happen in football.'

Merson went on to say: 'In my opinion, I really think players get you the sack. There are times when you look at a group of players during a game and you can tell they don't fancy it.

'But the Leeds players seemed to be running around for the manager. They couldn't give any more really, but I just cannot believe the decision Leeds have taken.'

Leeds are hovering just above the relegation zone following a dismal run of seven Premier League matches without a victory which has seen them amass just three points from 21.

The club's supporters turned on the American manager, which served to strengthen the belief of certain figures at Leeds that Marsch needed to be sacked from his role.

Therefore, they released the following statement confirming that they were parting ways with his company. It read: 'Leeds United can confirm head coach Jesse Marsch has been relieved of his duties.

'Jesse joined the club in February 2022 and was instrumental in keeping the club in the Premier League on the final day of last season.

'Rene Maric, Cameron Toshack and Pierre Barrieu will also leave the club. We would like to thank Jesse and his backroom staff for their efforts and wish them well for the future.

'The process of appointing a new head coach is underway and we will continue to keep supporters up to date throughout the coming days.'

Sportsmail revealed that West Brom Carlos Corberan is a potential candidate to replace Marsch. 

Corberan - who was considered for the Everton job following Frank Lampard's sacking - has impressed the Leeds board after taking charge of West Bromwich Albion in October.

Rayo Vallecano coach Andoni Iraola is another high on their list and is admired particularly by Victor Orta.

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2023-02-07T20:08:03Z dg43tfdfdgfd