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Leeds boss Marsch explains Joe Gelhardt’s matchday absence vs Aston Villa

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch has, on Sunday evening, provided an insight into the surprise absence of Joe Gelhardt from his latest matchday squad.

The Whites, of course, were back in action a short time ago.

In their first outing of what is set to prove a hectic October in the buildup to next month’s World Cup, Jesse Marsch’s side welcomed Aston Villa to Elland Road, hopeful of building on a solid start to the campaign courtesy of a three-point haul.

When all was said and done, though, Leeds were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

This came as a hard-fought 90 minutes gave rise to an eventual 0-0 stalemate, the highlight of which came early in the 2nd-half upon Luis Sinisterra being sent for an early bath by referee Stuart Attwell.

On the back of the action coming to a close in west Yorkshire, though, as alluded to above, it was the name of another member of the hosts’ attacking ranks which in fact took its place front and centre.

Hitman Gelhardt was completely omitted from Leeds’ matchday squad to face Villa on Sunday, a decision which culminated in more than a few raised eyebrows.

Speaking post-match, Jesse Marsch was therefore drawn on the absence of his side’s up-and-coming striker.

And Leeds’ boss did not beat around the bush with his response, in simply explaining that:

“He’s healthy, we decided not to have him in the squad. It was running to boost his fitness levels.”

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Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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