Daniel Farke's Leeds United press conference live: Transfer strategy, Luke Ayling loan exit and Cardiff City

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke hosts his pre-match press conference at Thorp Arch ahead of his side's visit to face Cardiff City this weekend.

The Whites will be without Djed Spence and Luke Ayling on Saturday as the team face Erol Bulut's Bluebirds, after the pair departed Elland Road under different circumstances. It's anticipated Farke will provide an injury update on the other members of his squad who were absent for the 3-0 win over Peterborough United in the FA Cup Third Round last Sunday.

It is just over a year since Leeds' most recent visit to the Cardiff City Stadium, and five months on from the reverse fixture - a 2-2 draw to kickstart Leeds' Championship campaign which signalled Farke's first competitive game in charge.

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The manager and his squad bid farewell to Ayling after seven-and-a-half years earlier this week as the 32-year-old defender joined Middlesbrough on loan for the remainder of the season. It spells the end of Ayling's time at Elland Road with his contract expiring at the end of 2023/24.

The manager is expected to pay tribute to the Leeds stalwart in his pre-match press conference this afternoon, which takes place from 1:30pm, in addition to explaining how the Whites plan to navigate the January transfer market having allowed two right-backs to leave during the first ten days of the month. Follow all the updates here.

Farke on drawing on Norwich experiences

The situation is always slightly different I have to say because you can't compare Norwich with Leeds United, the group of players I had and I have right now. This season was for us like a whirlwind, you can't compare the situation, sadly there's no guarantee of the same outcome, but what definitely helps is my experience. Thank God I was involved several times for promotion and the fight for winning the title. Two times here in England and two times in Germany. This experience always helps, because you know what it makes with a group, if you're up there at the end of the season, the processes and what dangers there are, in terms of mentality and mindset. This experience is what you need to do to bring a good position over the line. My first title run it was in Germany in the fourth tier, I also missed out and I learned from it. You will have to make this experience, it's necessary to do so. What I can say is this experience, what I have to do as a manager, this definitely helps.

Farke on promotion opportunity

In general I never made a secret why I came here. I want to bring the club where it belongs and my conviction is it belongs in the Premier League. I want to establish this club on Prem Lge level. We are a proud club and self-confidence, in the last 20 years if we're being honest, we spent just three years there. Two years of struggling of relegation. At the moment we don't have the right to label ourselves an established Prem Lge club in the last two decades. Make sure once we are back to establish ourselves. I would like to do this as quick as soon as possible, but I mentioned in the summer it sometimes lasts a while. Our squad against Cardiff on the opening game-day looks completely different. We've done well and alright with our points tally but it's never a guarantee you get the chance to promote back to the top flight. We're lacking compared to some our opponents in the top positions, a bit experience. We're one of the younger sides in the division. It's sometimes tricky but we still have a chance. If you finish in the top six you definitely have a chance. We still have a chance to chase the clubs ahead of us in the table. Keep going, we are not blind, we are in a good position in the table and we have a chance to finish in a position the chance to do this - I definitely wouldn't say no, and we have to work a lot. In Germany this would be almost a whole season nearly.

Farke on Cooper's expiring contract situation

Contract-wise it's the same situation but in recent weeks Luke was struggling to make the game-day squad, Liam was playing. He's slightly younger than Luke and has played a lot. When you play for a new contract and want to present yourself, yes we are all happy we have Liam and hope he can return back as soon as possible to be available.

Farke on needing experience in the squad

A bit more experience would do no harm and would not be a problem but in January transfer window it's always a bit difficult. We lost experienced players in the summer due to the situation. We have this in our mind when speaking about possible incomings but sadly in January there is no guarantee you find the right player or afford them. We have to fight with our tools, if we have to play with a bit more youth and naivety, this is what we're trying to do.

Farke on Ayling emotion

As you can imagine, difficult when such a legend goes. He's played nearly 300 games for us. What a human being, it's difficult. When you are allowed and have the privilege to work with such a guy every day, I saw him more than my family in recent months, on away travels, 24 hours, great relationship. It was a sad day, we can sometimes meet for a coffee or a dinner at some time. Right now we won't see each other every single day anymore. He was so important for the group, you can imagine it was a pretty emotional day. Not a sad day because it was his wish. We're happy we could fulfil him his wish. It's much better than someone saying he should have finished his career one or two years ago - it's perfect timing for him. We're happy we can present him such an emotional and top goodbye.

Farke on Cresswell [continued]

The ball is in his court. We use January, you either find a solution, you want to play for a different club or you're happy to be No. 4 and committed and be patient. Then perhaps to be centre-back No. 3 spot, then the starting line-up, but if you think you have the right to start ahead of Rodon or Struijk, it's not possible. He won't be picked by myself until he's mentally ready or there's a different solution.

I spoke quite often and open two weeks ago about this topic. I can repeat it one more time, I don't want to bore you too much. I don't have too much to add. I have an open and honest relationship with Charlie. One of my first decisions was we don't send him out on loan, we have to work with a tighter group due to the financial situation, we work with four centre-backs. I said I want Charlie. He's a great character, one of our own and great potential. That's the reason we gave him the long-term contract and fulfil his wish of the shirt number. My decision was then that I played a lot with Joe Rodon and Pascal Struijk in his position. In recent weeks Struijk was not available, Cooper is our club captain, left-footed and has repaid my trust whenever I needed him. It ended up with Charlie being our No. 4 centre-back. For me to have an exciting young centre-back in this position to have the chance to improve and bring himself into the starting XI, it is the perfect scenario. You could sense Charlie was not really happy with this situation. We spoke about this situation, he said: 'listen boss I appreciate all the trust but for me it's difficult - I want to be in the top two and I rate myself a starter'. It could be he's right and I'm wrong. There's no guarantee I'm always right but I'm in the chair and I decided to play Rodon in this position. Professionally, never a problem, but you could sense he was not always fully committed in matchday squad. He has played fantastically for Millwall, one of their best-performing players, he has proven already. I have to make the decisions for Leeds United. I always like him to be open and honest. It's right to be confident and brave in self-assessment.

Farke on dressing room camaraderie

In terms of really proper and sensible teamtalk it's necessary to have this experience. It's even a bit more up to my leadership that everyone is on it in games and training. We have young players with leadership pedigree in our group. We had already Pascal Struijk and Ethan Ampadu wearing the captain's armband, we need them to step up. Young players like Illan or Joe Rodon, it's important they step up and they are doing this. We have a smart group, we have to share the responsibility of leadership once Luke is away or Liam is not available. If there is still a lack of responsibility or leadership, then it's up to me.

Farke on the market and experience

It's more difficult, sometimes some young players are allowed to go out on loan but it doesn't make sense just to bring numbers in or young player who has not played in the last six months. If we do a deal, it's not out of panic, we have to prepare perhaps some things with unity and togetherness. This is also how we approach this window, we're working a lot behind the scenes but it's difficult to bring quality and experienced players in. We have to be a bit more patient but we are carefully optimistic.

We are not happy with the outcome in our last league away games. I think it was a pretty mature performance at Peterborough. The last away performances a bit unlucky. I want us to show resilience when perhaps there are decisions against us in away games. We have shown already this season we can be there with top performances and results and want to return to this behaviour.

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