By Mark Walker, PA
Jesse Marsch has tried to put the brakes on rising expectation at Elland Road after Leeds’ impressive start to the Premier League season.
Leeds head to Brighton on Saturday sitting third in the table after last week’s eye-catching win against Chelsea, but head coach Marsch is staying grounded.
The American said: “The minute you think you’re doing well you’ll get smacked in the face. We’re very aware of that.
“We need to stay laser-focused and fully-concentrated on improving and maximising our potential every day.”
Leeds followed up their three-game unbeaten league start by beating Yorkshire rivals Barnsley 3-1 on Wednesday night to reach the third round of the Carabao Cup after making nine changes to their starting line-up.
“Before the (Barnsley) game I said shut the door on that (Chelsea) result because it does not mean anything in the next game,” Marsch said.
“I heard people saying it was a benchmark after the (Chelsea) match, but I don’t think like that as much.
“The margin for error is so thin, the line is so thin between success and failure. We just have to know we can play to a certain level and continue to have a drive and hunger to get even better.
“I believe we have that in us and that’s the goal, to never stop.”
Marsch, who steered Leeds to top-flight safety on the final day last season, said it was “dangerous” to start talking about expectation.
“It’s much more valuable to talk game to game,” he said. “It’s always the case, but obviously when you have one of the best teams in the league, you can dream about titles.
“For us it’s more about, can we really have a strong environment, get everyone healthy and performing at their best, be able to have options in every position, at every moment for every game, and perform at our best level every match.
“If we do that I think we can pick up a lot of points and we can then start to maybe, in a few weeks or a couple of months, talk about mid-table or top 10, but we’re not there yet for me.”
Patrick Bamford is hoping to make his latest comeback from injury at Brighton, where he is expected to start on the bench.
Bamford, who missed most of last season after a succession of injuries, was withdrawn in the recent draw at Southampton due to a groin strain.
Skipper Liam Cooper is in contention for his first Premier League appearance of the season. He played the first 45 minutes against Barnsley after recovering from an Achilles injury.