IT’S probably safe to assume that “heart in the oven and head in the fridge” is not one of Jesse Marsch’s go-to quotes.
But if Leeds are going to drag themselves out of the relegation mire, it would be a good starting point.
Marsch uses “hundreds” of inspirational messages to rouse his players, ranging from Michael Jordan to John F Kennedy.
The American also cites pacifist Mahatma Gandhi and Saint Mother Teresa — but the memo is clearly not getting through to his players.
Leeds broke the Premier League record for most yellow cards in a single season at the weekend, they have racked up a whopping 96 with three games still remaining.
Luke Ayling’s red card for a wild challenge on Gabriel Martinelli 27 minutes into Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Arsenal summed it up.
And on Tuesday, a hyped-up Marsch again demanded “aggression” against Chelsea in Wednesday’s clash.
He also called on Elland Road, guaranteed to be at its most hostile against their despised London rivals, to unleash hell.
But if the players are pumped up to boiling point and charge around recklessly all night, Chelsea could take them to the cleaners.
Marsch, 48, said: “Inspiration is a big part of this job. I have 52 articles, excerpts from books that I sometimes give players when I think they need something to motivate them.
“’Then I have hundreds of quotes that I use at different moments. I try to think how it might fit in a scenario with where we are in a season, in a moment.
“I love quotes. I love learning from people of the past, sports figures, historical figures. The key is understanding exactly what messages to use at the right times so that players understand exactly how to handle moments.
“Here we are in the stress of relegation, trying to stay strong with our belief, with our confidence, with our commitment, with our mentality.”
On specifically who he admires, the history major added: “I’ve used Muhammad Ali a few times with the group.
“Michael Jordan is a guy I am inspired by. I’d start dating myself if I went back to Vince Lombardi and Johnny Unitas (American Football legends). I’ve also used the 1998 French football team in the past. I’ve used the 2008 Road to Redemption, the (USA basketball) gold medal team in China.
“Then there are also historical figures, like Gandhi, like Mother Teresa, like Presidents, like JFK.
“Different people along the way that I think have meant something to where we are historically in the world right now.”
The desperate Elland Road faithful, many of whom still mourn Marcelo Bielsa’s sacking, have shown no signs of turning on Marsch.
But the reactions from those watching his press conference ahead of the Chelsea game were hardly complimentary.
A flavour online included, “We replaced Bielsa with a motivational speaker”, “Boy is he starting to grind a little”, “Genuinely feel for the players having to listen to this crap all day” and “F*****g hell, we’ve hired David Brent”.
Another read, “He actually is Ted Lasso” (the clueless yet charming fictional American Football coach who comes to manage in the Premier League).
Outside of trying to inspire his troops, getting a tune out of Raphinha has to be top of Marsch’s priority list if Leeds — in the bottom three for the first time since October — are to beat the drop.
The Brazilian is their ten-goal leading scorer and one genuine match-winner.
But Raphinha has gone off the boil as Barcelona circle for his signature.
And regardless of which division Leeds are in next year, everything is pointing to him leaving this summer.
So if he only has three more games, United could really do with the winger providing a parting gift or three.
Marsch said: “We haven’t got enough out of him. That’s the truth.
“We’ve tried to find ways to play with him a little bit wider, we’ve tried to find ways where he is in transition moments a little bit more, we’ve tried to find ways to get him around the goal more.”
Raphinha, 25, lost his head at the Emirates following Ayling’s red card, having to be pulled back by Jack Harrison after wildly protesting at ref Chris Kavanagh.
He was shown a yellow, with Match of the Day pundit Ian Wright saying he could have easily been sent off.
Asked whether Raphinha is distracted by the Barcelona links, Marsch added: “Not at all, I see a person that is 100 per cent invested in what we’re doing here.
“His emotion can be interpreted as a lack of discipline.
“I look at it as total investment — he’d do anything to ensure this club stays where it belongs. He’s all in.”
Marsch also defended Ayling after his two-footed lunge on Martinelli means he is suspended for Leeds’ final three games.
He said: “Luke Ayling defines heart, fight, hard work, mentality, dedication — he defines what we want to be.
“In one situation he jeopardises all he has invested. I think how it hurts us as a team but more importantly about how it hurts Luke. It’s about sticking together, not finger pointing.”