Leeds United supporters send message to ease Daniel Farke's workload ahead of play-off drama

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Daniel Farke says Leeds United supporters gave his side a crucial lift with the full-time Elland Road reception on Saturday.

Though the Whites were beaten 2-1 by Southampton, having been consigned to the play-offs by Ipswich winning on the final day, many Leeds fans remained in their seats to applaud the players on a lap of the ground. Junior Firpo was first to wander around the pitch clapping those still in place, before Farke and the rest of the squad followed. And as the group approached the Kop they were given an incredible ovation. The loudest cheer of the afternoon continued as they made it to the East Stand and then passed by the South Stand.

"Unbelievable, I didn't expect this and I'm so grateful," said Farke. "We were really disappointed with this loss. I reckon our supporters were also unbelievably disappointed, there was a bit of hope for a little miracle. The loss today, the last few games not that encouraging. How they reacted was second to none. They had a really good feeling that overall to finish third with 90 points, it doesn't feel like this [right now][, but we have played a brilliant season with a pretty young side. They felt today we tried everything, but it was not our most shining performance. The players like Cree, Georgi, Willy, they need the backing and confidence. This is beneficial. I'm quite grateful that Joel Piroe today was able to score a goal, good for his confidence. We need to gain the confidence back and to have the trust of our supporters is so important and makes my life a bit easier."

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Farke has repeatedly described Leeds fans as the best in the division and the country this season and their latest intervention was an important one because he believes it delivered a message to the players, on his behalf. Coming, as it did, hot on the heels of a bewildered, angry response to the performance at Queens Park Rangers, he felt it was a reminder that the supporters still believe promotion can be won.

“First of all, I don't have to motivate anyone for the play-offs because, when you look in the eyes, how much it means to our supporters, everyone understands we can't afford to leave even one per cent in the tank," he said. "We have to go for it, but also to hear this applause and that they're happy with the team, perhaps not with the last two games, but overall, what they're doing and with their identification, this is exactly what we need. I'm very grateful. If we really are capable of winning the best possible prize you can win in the Championship, promotion to the Premier League, this is also a big credit to our supporters.This was a big lift today and I am pretty grateful. We're blessed to have such an understandable group of supporters today in the stadium.”

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