Every word Daniel Farke said in pre-Stoke City press conference as Leeds United boss offers team news hints

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke after victory in the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road (Photo: George Tewkesbury/PA Wire)Leeds United manager Daniel Farke after victory in the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road (Photo: George Tewkesbury/PA Wire)
Leeds United manager Daniel Farke after victory in the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road (Photo: George Tewkesbury/PA Wire)
Leeds United boss Daniel Farke hosts his pre-match press conference ahead of the Whites’ visit to Stoke City on Wednesday evening.

Leeds go in search of their fourth straight victory in the Potteries this week as Alex Neil’s 20th-placed Stoke stand in the way of United consolidating themselves as the Championship’s form team.

Only Leicester City, Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town have taken more points than Leeds from their last five matches. United have been beaten just once in their last ten games, although that did come away from home.

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Leeds overcame a two-goal deficit at Carrow Road on Saturday as Farke’s former employers Norwich City were dispatched thanks to a Crysencio Summerville-inspired second half display.

Stoke, meanwhile, defeated promotion-chasing Sunderland at the Bet365 Stadium proving their lowly position in the table does not mean Wednesday night’s result will be foregone conclusion in Leeds’ favour.

Farke’s press conference this afternoon is on the way from 1pm. Follow all the updates as the Leeds boss provides an update on who will be available for the trip to Staffordshire.

Daniel Farke press conference LIVE

Key Events

  • Farke reflects on Norwich win
  • Stoke preview
  • Fitness update

Farke on whether more midfielders will double as full-backs in future

Who knows? Perhaps we are back on the other side, more and more clubs playing with inverted fullbacks so maybe we need to go back to the other way around, to play with fullbacks who run down the flank and make many crosses. You always have to try and be ahead of the wave, because, I remember my starting days at Norwich or even a lower level in Germany, I played with inverted fullbacks. So my feeling is that it develops in a different direction for the managers who want to be ahead of the wave, so I don’t want to talk too much at what will happen in two or three years. We try to be ahead of the wave and not to copy someone. Obviously midfield players are quite often football intelligent players and capable to adapt to tactical necessities. For that, I think quite often midfielders can play different positions including fullback, but I wouldn’t speak too much about the general trend.

Farke on Cooper and Ayling’s changing roles

If I am honest, I think they are really outstanding during this season. Luke has played a lot, I think he was involved in each and every game and had many in the starting line-up, so we don’t have to discuss too much about him. Also for Liam, he started the first game, sacrificed his body scoring an important goal and was then out for several weeks. He came back in, had to play his first game after his injury coming in for 30 minutes to help us to a clean sheet, next game another clean sheet. Right now he has to accept, although he’s a natural born leader, he’s just substitute in the 90th minute. Quite often we need big personalities and leaders, yes, they’re also expecting they play more. Sometimes it could be a problem but how they handle the situation, perhaps they are not playing each and every second, but they know how much I value them. They both know how much I like them and due to the quality of our squad, also due to their age because they are not 25 anymore, this league is relentless and we play every three days, so they can’t play 46 games each and every second. So, to accept this, although you’re used to in your career to playing each and every second, sometimes it is not that easy. Especially leaders who are so important for the spirit in out group, sometimes it can be quite difficult, but for me they are outstanding. How much they push the whole group and how much they try to lift this team spirit and give the Leeds United feeling, they give everything for this club and for me they are already club legends. For doing this, for me they become even bigger club legends because when the sun is shining and you play each and every game, then it is quite easy to show great personality and be a leader. But sometimes when you have to accept that yes, it’s not so easy on a personal level, because yes they’d like to play each and every minute, but to think more about the club, more about the group, instead of just their individual minute tally, this is pure personality and quality and real leadership. This for me is outstanding. I’ve worked with many good characters and experienced players on this level, but what they both are doing for me, is second to none and I am struggling to find better characters and personalities I have worked with. This will also be crucial because we need them to be really like leaders and role models in this group, we have such a young group and we need their experience and quality. Perhaps they are not involved in each and every second of the game but this will be crucial if we can go on successful or not. They will both crucial if we are to have a successful season.

Farke on new Wednesday boss Danny Rohl

It’s difficult to compare. I don’t believe in passports, not as managers or players. They have different personalities and CV’s, also thoughts about football. For that, I can’t compare, I have never met him on a personal level so can’t judge his personality or the way he works. Obviously for each and every colleague, fingers are crossed, I hope he will do a really good job in a difficult situation. Sheffield Wednesday is a big club with decent players and all the potential to finish in a much better position than they are at the moment but I am far away from giving any hints. I spoke about, yes, my evaluation that the Premier League is the best league in the world but the Championship is definitely the toughest. Yes, the first season in charge on this level is always difficult and you have to learn a lot and develop pretty quick, so experience always helps. If you want to be there one day as an experienced coach, this is your first year and you have to go through it. Fingers are crossed for him and all that I’ve heard, he has a really good potential and hopefully he can bring this into the results.

First of all, we are not here in order just to make sure we develop Archie in a perfect position. Although we all love Archie and want to develop him and I have perhaps a reputation to bring young players though, the main target is we as Leeds United want to be successful. This is our only target and by doing this, if we can then develop and help our players, not just young but all the players in our squad, that is also quite beneficial. I also spoke before the last game about this topic, so I am not willing to rest Archie in order to have him fit for Under-19s games on international duty. No no, it’s his job, he is paid for this and we want him to deliver good performances. As long as he delivers good performances we are all happy. He’s capable to play on different positions because of his skills, that’s great and valued. He can play the fullback position, his natural position is the midfield position, but we will see how his position will develop over the next months and years. To play in a different position always helps, but it is not always a perfect solution for each and every player. I’m not sure if Diego Maradona, Paul Gascoigne or Zinedine Zidane, whether it would be beneficial to play them in the fullback position. But for Archie, it’s not a bad choice at times, but we don’t play him there to develop him. We got the feeling for these games we needed a player there who is capable to handle the pace, speed and mobility of the opponents wingers. Also to play a bit more inverted, like an additional midfield player. Thank god he repaid my trust and made some really good games. I think he was fantastic in the last home game and solid in the last away game, he was crucial on the second half and we’re all happy.

Farke on Bamford biding his time

Yes, definitely. Georgi and Joel had the advantage they both had a pre-season. Georgi had a little injury but wasn’t out too long, he’s full of energy and he copes really well with the load, he’s in a good rhythm and this always helps, during international breaks we can calm down the load with him, I think it’s quite beneficial for him. Joel played pre-season and the first games, 90 minutes for Swansea, he’s in good shape and copes with the load quite well. Patrick was out for such a long time, eight weeks, we have to be a bit careful but we are happy we have Patrick back. I spoke about our goal tally, we are already on a really good path, we create chances. I’m also happy we have a proven goalscorer on this level with Bamford back. When I judge our offensive players in the last game, starting line-up, our oldest player in the middle was mid-20s. Substitute was Willy Gnonto, Jaidon Anthony, really young age. Patrick’s a senior figure and good to have him around, such a good teammate, especially with my offensive options, I don’t think they are selfish and thinking about their goal records. During the game they are helping and discussing. The way he plays he is different to Joel and Georgi. It’s always good to have options to react during the game, the same like with Ilia. Patrick has also shown in his cameos he can change a game and that’s beneficial for our game. Good to have him back to full fitness pretty soon and he will be able to play many minutes for us.

We have never done this [pair Ampadu with Gruev], I don't like to just say in a theoretical way yes or no. it’s always up to them to prove this once they play together. I have to say I’m really happy with Ilia, he came pretty late, without having a pre-season, really humble guy but with a good record, he’s played two years on Bundesliga level, a good level last season, more than 30 games, he’s a regular starter for Bulgaria, always in the starting line-up. I was definitely tempted to unleash him before because he was training at top level, but really top performances by players in midfield, in his position. We have perhaps some areas where it would be perhaps even a bit easier [for him] to come into the game but as a coach in the heart of your game, you are not so tempted to change too much from game-to-game, let’s be honest players in his position, Ethan Ampadu has been outstanding, Archie [too] when he was in midfield was really good, Glen Kamara has had an impact in many games so it’s not the easiest area in our squad. My gut feeling is that he will also play an important role also in the upcoming games and we are happy that we have him because he's not just a good player but also a top, top teammate and good that we have him.

No, I think in general I'm not worried about this turnaround but because we played then on Saturday it was difficult, because you know when many players are away and played two games for their for the country's Archie, for example, three games and important games. For many of them it was was also like they were crucial games, qualifiers and do or die games. And then they come back just with two days before important away game at Norwich with just one trade day of training. And I tell them listen, by the way, tomorrow is the most important game of your life. It's always tricky. Right now they are back home, proper nights in their own beds, we had two relatively quiet training days on Sunday and Monday. This turnaround is not a problem at all, enough time between Saturday afternoon and Wednesday evening. Bit of a problem turnaround from Wednesday late kick-off to Saturday lunchtime, we have to keep in mind a bit this is a short turnaround, this could be a topic for team selection on Saturday. A few players we are happy with at the moment, that we got the feeling ‘okay, they shouldn't have such a quick turnaround’, that perhaps we give them a break but I don’t want to speak about individual players too much, I think we have to be more careful with players who were away on international duty in comparison to players that were with us for two weeks, but this is a general thing. We’ll look from a tactical point of view which type of player we need for this game. I don't want to talk too much in public because I'm pretty much aware that also Stoke will probably follow what I say today, so not too many comments about the starting line-up, we will be careful with our team selection and hopefully we're also spot on for the next few games.

I’ve spoken a lot about this - I’m grateful and more than happy to work in this responsible role with this massive club with one of the best - if not the best - supporters in the whole country. This club is really special and unique, demanding at times, also a bit complicated to lead but this is exactly what what you're looking for. I met already so many great people in the club, we have an unbelievable fanbase, it’s one of our biggest skills. We have to be careful with it, we have to value this, to know that this is priceless for us. This club and our supporters are more important than any player, manager, board member - this is what this club is all about. It’s a great honour and I’ll always be grateful. You feel the responsibility, I want to repay the trust and create a good future for this club, this is all my focus is on. I’m a happy man at the moment.

Farke on how strong the Championship is this year

Both [Ipswich and Leicester] with unbelievable points tallies, big names in this league, yes, I know that we are also a big name, so are Southampton. I think the quality this season is on a really good level. Many teams capable of fighting for promotion. Some smaller clubs, some bigger clubs, we've played on the last weekend also a club who wants to finish in the top six, perhaps even in the top two. Many competitors, with all the respect, I get the feeling in recent years this league was quite often decided relatively soon. I don’t expect this this year, I think the quality and standards are very high this season. One of the strongest and most difficult seasons in the last two decades. We don’t complain we’re also taking part, we want to be successful and so if we keep going like we did in the recent weeks, I’m quite sure we have also the chance to finish a very good position.

Farke on improvements and position in table

If I'm honest, I don't pay too much attention at the moment to the table if you’re position three, four or five whatever. Obviously I like much more to be in 3rd position than in the 23rd, that's definitely definitely a fact, but for me at the moment it’s just support to stabilise the club more and more and also to create a winning mentality and also to show good performances and obviously also to grind out results and if you do this, then you're automatically in a good position in the table. For me it's more important that in many many topics we have improved but also stabilise so we have consistency in our results. We are already there with many, many clean sheets. We showed some really good performances we create many chances, I like that we are able to bring in a tight lead over the finish line and in several games, I like that we had many clean sheets, I like that we are capable to keep the nerves when we are a bit under pressure like at Norwich, when you have the capability to turn the game - this is all a sign of winning mentality. I think there's one topic we want to improve on. This is definitely the efficiency in using our chances because we create so many big chances. I think there are also some statistics that are in a fair and normal table and a table that is based on on performances and on expected goals would be even better. So this is definitely one topic, we're not too much concentrating, but we want to improve our position on the table. So we are more concentrate on the contents and what we definitely want to need to improve this is the effectiveness of using the chances because you can't always turn the game like we did at Norwich. Normally the first half and the chances that were created during the first half should be enough in order to score one, two, perhaps even three goals and this definitely a topic we are concentrated on. It's not like we will be addicted to praying ‘come on let's climb the table’. No we are concentrated on what we can influence and what we would we have to improve with this particular topic. We need to be a bit better.