Ex-Leeds United man floats play-off tactical tweak as Daniel Farke future addressed

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Daniel Farke has changed Leeds United’s usual possession-dominant approach on occasion this season.

Former Leeds United winger Lee Sharpe believes the counter-attacking ability of Daniel Farke’s men could be enough to see them beat Southampton on Sunday.

Leeds and Southampton meet in the Championship play-off final this weekend with an instant return to the Premier League up for grabs for the victor. Both sides head to Wembley off the back of convincing semi-final second-leg wins over Norwich City and West Brom respectively.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Bengal Brasserie

Bengal Brasserie Arena Quarter – serving authentic Indian cuisine in the heart of the city. Proudly supporting Leeds United and the YEP.

Both Leeds and Southampton like to dominate possession when they can but Farke has shown an ability to adapt on occasion, backing the strength of his defence and allowing the attacking unit to break into space. The likes of Crysencio Summerville, Georginio Rutter and Wilfried Gnonto have shown how devastating they can be on the counter-attack, while consecutive clean sheets has seen confidence in the back-line renewed.

That is a game plan that Sharpe is expecting to see from the Whites at Wembley, and the former Elland Road regular believes Farke’s men will edge a tight final before opening up breathing space in the final moments.

"It’s a really tough one to call this one,” Sharpe told Football League World. “Two really good sides with match-winners who can make the difference. But I have to go with my heart and say 3-1 to Leeds. Leeds will be 2-1 up and then with Southampton chasing the game, Leeds can get one on the counter-attack late on."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Farke will be the first to admit that this season’s improvement in form will mean little if Leeds fail to win on Sunday and consign themselves to another year of Championship football. But the German arrived to a mess in West Yorkshire and in racking up 90 points, would have won automatic promotion in just about any other season.

When taking complete control of the club last year, 49ers Enterprises had in mind a two-year plan to get back in the Premier League and while no one would turn their nose up at an early promotion, foundations are set for a second campaign in the Championship. That includes backing Farke to start next season in better shape and Sharpe insists the 47-year-old’s job should be safe regardless of Sunday’s outcome.

“Absolutely [Leeds should stand by Farke],” the former Whites man added. “You can’t keep changing managers. Leeds only just missed out on automatic promotion, and you need consistency to drive long-term success. Farke has proven he can succeed at this level. He must be given another shot if Leeds don’t make it. Some players may have to leave, but I would be very confident, if Leeds don’t make it, they go up next year.”