Daniel Farke pre-Plymouth press conference every word on doubtful Leeds United pair, Struijk injury and Gnonto

Leeds United boss Daniel Farke held his pre-Plymouth Argyle press conference on Thursday afternoon
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Leeds United will sign off for the November international break with Saturday's Championship hosting of Plymouth Argyle, ahead of which Whites manager Daniel Farke held his pre-match press conference today.

Farke's third-placed side are approaching the weekend's 3pm kick-off against the newly-promoted Pilgrims on the back of Friday evening's superb 1-0 win at leaders Leicester City which closed the gap on both the Foxes and second-placed Ipswich Town.

Farke spoke to the media at 1.30pm at Thorp Arch and here is every word from United's manager.

Leeds United v Plymouth Argyle: Daniel Farke press conference every word

Key Events

  • 1.30pm press conference at Thorp Arch
  • Leeds v Plymouth, 3pm Saturday at Elland Road

For Daniel Farke's pre-Plymouth press conference today.

Expected on Gelhardt, Shackleton, Spence and Dallas.

For Daniel Farke. 1.30pm. Everything that is said to follow here.

Daniel takes his seat

Let’s start with an injury update?

"Yes, a few topics like you mentioned. Gelhardt is good news, didn’t need surgery on his hand but will miss this game. I hope he can join training during the international break and on the other side to be reinvolved. The same with Shackleton, was a strain on his Glute and will miss this game, hopefully back very soon. Spence is in his final stages of rehab, I hope he will be back on the other side of the window in training, then pretty soon available for the games. We had an addition to that, Dallas at the moment is training, hopefully he can join team training soon. Sadly also, bad news, Pascal Struijk will miss the game on Saturday. In the recent weeks and months he had a problem with a hernia, the last game was pretty painful so we decided to send him to London for surgery. It’s not too bad but he will miss this game, we hope to have him back after the international break. It’s too soon to give you an exact time, but he will miss this game and that is what I can confirm. There’s little question marks over Bamford, he missed the sessions early this week due to illness, so we will see how he reacts after a light session today. I hope he’s available. Charlie Cresswell has missed sessions early in the week due to private reasons, so I hope he’s back now."

Is Pascal a double or single hernia?

"He’s got problems on both, so it’s too early to speak about a timeframe and we will await the assessment. He delivered good performances even though he had these problems for months but after the last game it was too painful. With so many games coming up it was a smart solution to use the international break to have time to recover. I hope he doesn’t miss too many games and will be available."

Joe Rodon has been talked about highly, Rob Page [Wales manager] has said he’s gone up another level, are you able to confirm he can stay beyond January?

"Joe will stay with us. He’s an important player for my plans and it is important we have stability. I am happy and pleased with his development, he has to keep going and that’s important. So far so good but it is always about the next game. We have to make sure we are there with good performances and he has been brilliant so far."

Junior Firpo - You have talked highly of him, what have you done with him this week to see if he’s ready?

"It’s tricky because you can’t plan a schedule because of one player. In order to get him back to fitness, it doesn’t make sense to play an internal game just for him. Each normal training week is beneficial for him, the last two weeks were good and this many sessions this week helps him. He’s growing day to day and we must not forget he hasn’t been involved in a game in months, he had many little injuries and one or two major injuries. It’s good he’s back and grows game to game. The international break will be beneficial for him as well, he’s quite close to being involved in games, he can’t be there with a perfect rhythm but has been in team training three weeks, he’s just missing minutes in the game. We want to give him them, but the key topic is to win with your strongest XI so for that, we will be careful."

Plymouth won’t come and defend, will that suit you?

"I like them lots. I have to say I am respectful because last season they were used to winning football games. They play with confidence and freedom and had some really good results, especially at home, but also away with good performances. At Ipswich they were the better side and were unlucky to lose this game. It speaks volumes, they’ve got players who score goals and deliver, their offensive players are brave and cheeky in a positive way and I really like this. We have to be spot on in order to be highly motivated to be successful in this game. I am full of respect and we have to be on it."

You’ve started both halves well in the last two games, have you changed anything?

"Not in our general approach but we are aware that in our last away games we didn’t start on the front foot. It’s important to set signs in the first minute, to be more on it, that’s always the plan because you want to start on the front foot and score an early goal. The opponent doesn’t always work pout like this but one of the key factors at Leicester was to break their confidence early and set signs for intensity in our game. That’s the plan in the next home game but it’s never a guarantee it works."