Daniel Farke names Leeds United's place in his five steps for promotion theory and play-offs aim

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Whites boss Daniel Farke has declared Leeds United’s place in the ‘five steps’ needed for the ‘perfect’ promotion season and initial play-offs aim.

Farke’s side moved into the division’s second automatic promotion place with Tuesday night’s 4-0 victory at Swansea City, overtaking Southampton whose club record unbeaten run was ended in a 3-1 defeat at Bristol City. Southampton are now two points behind Leeds but have a game in hand and could move back above the Whites with victory in Friday night’s clash at fifth-placed West Brom.

The Saints will then take in their game in hand next Tuesday evening with the visit play-offs chasing Hull City but United’s automatic promotion destiny is now in their own hands by virtue of facing the Saints at Elland Road in the final weekend of the season.

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Fourth-placed Ipswich Town are just three points behind Leeds with a game in hand but Farke’s side have a significantly better goal difference and are now the team to be ‘chased’ in the division’s second automatic promotion place as opposed to doing the chasing.

FIVE STEPS: Outlined by Leeds United boss Daniel Farke, above. Photo by Adam Davy/PA Wire.FIVE STEPS: Outlined by Leeds United boss Daniel Farke, above. Photo by Adam Davy/PA Wire.
FIVE STEPS: Outlined by Leeds United boss Daniel Farke, above. Photo by Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Farke, though, is refusing to entertain talk of a potential cat and mouse chase between Leeds, Southampton and Ipswich for second, insisting that his team are still only on “step three” of ensuring a play-offs place and step four of sealing a top-four finish to at the very least guarantee a home tie in the play-offs semi-final second leg. Only then, says United’s boss, can attention turn to the final step of attempting to seal automatic promotion in the top two.

Asked if he would rather be the team doing the chasing or the side to be chased in the automatics, Farke declared: "I would rather be in position one and be 20 points ahead of all the others if I'm honest because each and every point helps. But at the moment we don't interpret too much into the table.

"I spoke about this, especially after relegation, it's always a letter and you have to take it step by step. I always spoke about, if you want to have a perfect season you need to make five steps.

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"The first is don't struggle on the wrong end. The second is make sure that you have a chance to finish in the top six so these both steps are already done.

"The third step is then 'okay, then finish in the top six’ and if you do so, the fourth step would be to finish in the top four so that you have a home game in the second leg in the play-offs. And if you manage to finally confirm step three and four and you are on a good path to do it and there are still a few games left and a few points to play for, then you also make sure that you can climb also the fifth step, this would mean then automatic promotion or using the play-offs for promotion back to the Premier League.

"Then you have played a perfect season. But at the moment we are still working on step three and four and once this is finally confirmed then we can speak about more but not before and for that we are really just concentrating on taking each and every step at one moment and take each and every game serious. Each and every point that we can collect helps and this is also the task for the game at Plymouth."