Daniel Farke makes Leeds United fixture complaint and reveals international break training absences

Daniel Farke says Leeds United's fixture at Rotherham United has not been scheduled with a 'sense of fair play.'
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The Whites will return from the international break with a trip to New York Stadium on Friday November 24, while the top two in the division Leicester City and Ipswich Town play the next day.

Farke's main gripe is that the Millers will have fewer players away on national team duty and the timing of the game - selected for live broadcast by Sky Sports - will rule out various Leeds players out of training.

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Seven of the Leeds side that started Saturday's 2-1 win over Plymouth Argyle will spend the international break with their various national teams, including Georginio Rutter after a recall from the France Under 21 wilderness by Thierry Henry. A further three players from Saturday's bench will also be involved in international football. Rotherham, by comparison, have waved goodbye to goalkeeper Viktor Johansson [Sweden], right-back Dexter Lembikisa [Jamaica] and attacker Ciaran McGuckin [Northern Ireland Under-21s].

Farke insists it's not an issue that will cost him any sleep but it has obviously irked him: "No, I’m not anxious, I think it's a great honour to represent your country, I'm happy for my players. Football comes along with the risk of injuries but that could also happen in training and in our games. It's a bit more complicated playing so many games in such a short period, with so much travel. I'm unhappy with playing next Friday evening, it's the biggest concern for me. With respect to Rotherham United they don't have as many lads away. In the sense of fair play it would have been much better if a different game was played on Friday evening. I think it's not in the sense of the game, in terms of fair play. It's not Rotherham's fault, we can't change it, we have to adapt. This game is picked for the Friday evening game."

Leeds have previously gone into Saturday games after the international break with the benefit of a single training session together as a squad but in this instance Farke believes he may be without certain players completely prior to the Rotherham clash.

"I am only concerned as I know a few players will have to play without one training session with us, they come back more or less on the Wednesday, many come back on the Wednesday and Thursday, so it is impossible for some to train. If they will have to be in the starting line-up, although they weren't with us for one training session, this is reality, I can't complain about this. It doesn’t help us, so I have decided not to be anxious. I know it will be a hard fight, each and every game is a hard fight to win three points. I hope and pray, a little bit, they come back without injuries."

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Farke already expects to be without left-back Sam Byram, who pulled up with a hamstring strain against Plymouth Argyle. Junior Firpo, recently returned to full time training after knee and hip injuries, came off the bench to replace Byram and should be available as an option to start in Byram's absence, alongside Jamie Shackleton if he has recovered in time from his glute injury.