Leeds United midfielder Marc Roca is convinced that his side will escape the Premier League drop this season under the guidance of head coach Javi Gracia.
Roca’s comments came in an interview with The Athletic following Leeds’ 2-4 victory against Wolves last Saturday.
The Whites’ weekend triumph saw them climb from the relegation zone – entering the international break in 14th place rather than 19th.
The 26-year-old’s confidence in his manager is not misplaced as Gracia has made an impressive start to his time at Leeds – acquiring 7 points from a possible 12 in the league.
In comparison to former gaffer Jesse Marsch who only managed to secure 19 points from 23 games this season – the difference is stark.
Whilst Gracia’s tactics retain the same attacking intensity which Whites supporters have become accustomed to in recent years, he is also more pragmatic in approach.
In general, the Leeds players look far more composed and in control of games than they did when playing the Red Bull style of football practised by Gracia’s predecessor.
This tactical approach is one which Roca himself will be more particularly suited to as he is a ball-player at his core. The emphasis on balance and patience preached by Gracia gives the defensive midfielder more time on the ball to pick a perfect pass.
Combining these fresh tactics with a recent string of positive results has breathed new confidence into a side who were slipping towards relegation under Marsch.
“We have to finish the season off. It’s been tough but we’re ready and we’re convinced we’ll achieve what we have to. We have the confidence. We see (ourselves) in training and the team is young and hungry. We will do it,” Roca said.
Leeds now face an 11 day stretch without a game until they travel to the Emirates to take on league leaders Arsenal on 1 April.