Farke reveals Leeds United Deepdale scenes motivation and message before 'season-defining' winner

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Beating Preston North End in a scrap can be a season-defining moment for Leeds United according to Daniel Farke.

The German dedicated their 2-1 win to Jaidon Anthony after the death of the winger's mother this week and admitted that the previous meeting between the two sides was also a motivating factor for the Whites.

Preston hit the front inside two minutes with a scrappy goal from a free-kick and though Leeds levelled shortly after through Daniel James, they were unable to make their possessional dominance and better chances count. Despite Leeds' second half urgency an ugly game looked destined for a 1-1 draw until the hosts were awarded a penalty for handball in stoppage time. Substitute Joel Piroe stepped up to win the game and give Farke his favourite kind of victory.

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"These are the best wins of the season," he said. "We had many electrifying wins with lots of goals, games when it was done at half-time and we only had to speak about how great we were. But to win games like this, when you have some problems in the first half to find your level - we started a bit too slow with not enough aggression - to fight yourself minute to minute into the game, to get a hard-fought but deserved win, these are the best moments. They're season-defining moments, important for the mood and the confidence. I love when we're there with champagne football, scoring goal after goal, but these type of wins for me are the most enjoyable."

Referee David Webb came under fire from both sides and the crowd during the encounter as it threatened to boil over, dishing out a grand total of 10 yellow cards - six of them to the visitors. Farke had no complaints about Preston's physical approach but was pleased with how Leeds responded. "You need to find a good balance," he said. "It's important you find the next gear but do it in a smart way. Credit to Preston, they played with intensity, structured very well, experienced, they know what to do, to be there with a nasty foul to provoke us. I don't accuse them, it's what experienced sides do. Going down to give themselves a moment to recover and break the rhythm. It was a long time before the first yellow for time wasting. It was important we kept our nerve, stayed cool, played with our tempo and this is what we did. For that I think it was a well-deserved win."

Farke revealed after the win that his men were spurred on by events at Deepdale on Boxing Day, as well as by their desire to give Anthony a victory at the end of a difficult week. Leeds wore black armbands as a mark of tribute after the untimely death of his mother Donna.

"First of all to give a little bit of an answer to the first leg when there was a pretty doubtful red card and we had to play underload and lots of celebration after their goals and after the game," he said.

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"No one was was definitely happy that we got this red for Illan and he was criticised a lot for giving the referee a decision to make but it was also obviously not not a red card. We had the celebration scenes of them in the mind, rolling around the floor and something like this. It's important that you take this also into the game without being over motivated and we tried to find the right balance. I'm not accusing Preston at all, a very intense, emotional, experienced side, only compliments to Ryan [Lowe].

SEASON DEFINING - Leeds United boss Daniel Farke called it a 'massive' win over Preston North End at Elland Road after a fractious affair between the two sides. Pic: Jonathan GawthorpeSEASON DEFINING - Leeds United boss Daniel Farke called it a 'massive' win over Preston North End at Elland Road after a fractious affair between the two sides. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe
SEASON DEFINING - Leeds United boss Daniel Farke called it a 'massive' win over Preston North End at Elland Road after a fractious affair between the two sides. Pic: Jonathan Gawthorpe

"And I didn't want to mention during the week too much but they wanted to win this game for Jaidon and his family because he had a tough, tough time during during this week and we are like a family. We wanted to present him and his family and dedicate this win to them. This was a reason why it meant so much to the players. Three points are also priceless for the table, there were many reasons why were so greedy and highly motivated to win this game."

Speaking after the game defender Joe Rodon declined to reveal what message he had passed on from the bench in the moments before the Piroe's winning penalty, when Crysencio Summerville and Joel Piroe appeared to discuss who should take it. Patrick Bamford held the ball for a time, apparently to keep the eventual taker out of the spotlight. Farke had no problem explaining what his message was.

"That Joel should take the penalty," said Farke.

"It was a bit difficult because Joel is normally our main taker and sometimes when you're just substituted in you don't feel that confident. Cree is one of the players on the team sheet before the game, but he also missed the last penalty. It was important for me that Joel gave a sign he was ready to take it, one of our best finishers and normally ice cold. After he gave the sign he was willing to take the responsibility I was 100 per cent sure he would score. Thank God he repaid my trust. He's scored the most goals in the squad and one of my most important players. We have 46 league games, it's normal you don't play every second and you have to help from the bench but Joel is still a very important player and I was sure he would finish this situation."