Leeds United vs Norwich City: Daniel Farke's injuries, team news and transfers update in press conference

Nigel French/PA Wire
Leeds United boss Daniel Farke faces the media once again this afternoon in what is a quick turnaround from Sunday lunchtime's win over Preston North End, before facing old employers Norwich City on Wednesday night.

Leeds are back at Elland Road in just over 24 hours, which means we return to Thorp Arch to hear from manager Daniel Farke as the Whites look to keep their momentum from the weekend.

United have begun 2024 with four consecutive victories in the Championship and FA Cup, but have never started a calendar year with five straight wins, which would be some feat given the rigours of this year's campaign.

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Leeds host the Canaries on Wednesday evening which pits two former Premier League coaches against each other in Farke and David Wagner. Both have occupied the managerial hotseat at Carrow Road, albeit with varying success, and will be keen to get one over on the other for vastly different reasons in midweek.

Follow what Farke has to say this afternoon while he conducts his pre-match media duties. Updates here from 1:30pm.

Daniel Farke's pre-match press conference LIVE: Leeds boss on Norwich, injuries, team news and transfers

Farke on putting pressure on teams above

I'm not so interested in psychological games. We're not playing games to put pressure on someone. We know we have the pressure that we are greedy to win every game-day. No-one puts pressure on us, we're always highly motivated to win a game of football. Especially not in this stage of the season, to put pressure on someone else. We want to win points and finish in the best possible position. We need as many top class performances. We concentrate on bringing that, grinding out results and letting the table take care of itself. I can't affect what happens [in Leicester v Ipswich].

To achieve perfection is sadly not possible in this business. It always depends on the game. Then comes the next setback and you think we need more creativity or professional workers, but if I had to judge our group in total, we have a really good base. In general we have a pretty good group together.

Farke on keeping Ampadu at centre-back

The momentum and what you think always changes. It relies on what happens in the training and the games. I want to create an environment where everyone if he performs has the chance to step up. Ethan was important in the deep six role, it's not to say if someone comes along and uses the position in a top class way, that Ethan will play there every game. Same with centre-back, cannot take this for granted. I was pleased in the last games, this relationship was quite good but it's a good feeling to have Cooper back because we need this. I hope Struijk will return pretty soon. Because the momentum can change quick, for me it's never cemented a player is playing one position. I'm a big friend to play players in their best position where they can shine most.

It's always important to have a group on the same page. We have different types in our group, obviously Georginio Rutter is a different human being to Liam Cooper, that is necessary. Ilia Gruev is different to Cree Summerville. You still share the same values and go in the same direction, this is always important, this is why I'm so on it to check the personality and character of players and overall it's never a guarantee it always pays off. Sometimes you need a bit of luck with injuries. I love to work with difficult characters, some human beings where perhaps in their earlier years it's not so easy to lead them. Or in my former clubs, we had players where you'd say it's not like he's the most disciplined guy. I think this type of players, you make sure you use their creativity and individualism and being special for the group. If you want to achieve something special you need that, but retain a solid base. You need to find a good mix and balance. Sometimes when you have too much disciplined and lack the something special, you sign the special player. Other times you have to bring serious, disciplined players on the pitch.

Farke on why the team drops points in midweek

I think it's just the nature of this league. Sometimes when you have a quick turnaround, it's always a bit tricky. I think if you analyse the seasons of every team you will see a dip sometimes in this period. It's good when you can concentrate on one game. I judged the last game a bit different, we start a bit slow and not aware against Preston. I didn't have an explanation, we had a normal training week. If I'm honest we didn't start on the front foot, it's where we were a bit self-critical. Eight or nine day turnaround before that one was maybe too long. I'm not sure [dropping points] is really a trend, this time around it shouldn't affect us. We had three proper nights' [rest], 80 hours between games and not an excuse we'd use after the game if it doesn't work against Norwich.

Farke on Ilia Gruev

More importance than the talking is on the pitch. When he's on the pitch, no-one covers more distance than Ilia. He's always solid and reliable, plays in possession with rare mistakes, disciplined, top work ethic, if you are like this on the pitch you can imagine he's like this off the pitch. From the first day he was humble, modest, hard-working and patient. He waited for his chance, more or less first one in, last one out of the training pitch, did extra work, add more strength to his body, how he can improve his nutrition, he's one of the most professional players I've worked with. We knew we were pretty sure the character we were signing. We thought he would be a perfect addition. Due to the quality of our other midfield players, he had to stay on it and when we unleash him I can't praise him enough. We are there with a perfect January so far, but he has to keep going. He has to improve further on, and to speak about a quality player, after many years and many months, not just a couple of weeks.

Farke on knowing player contract details

If you want to work as a manager and show leadership and decide who comes in and who leaves us, it makes sense to know a little bit about the contracts. I would 100% in these terms when it comes down to decisions who plays, on the bench or in the squad, it doesn't matter. It's important who we sign and what we do with contracts. It's a main topic for myself and how we build the club, but when it comes down to the decision who plays, it matters what happens in training and games. Names, salaries, exit clauses, contracts are then not important. If he meant it in this sense then it's the right call. If it's how to build the club and suits our values, then it's a little bit important. I don't need to know every detail, but it's important to build to squad. Believe me, I'm involved.

Farke on upcoming games

It has the same importance. Every game is the chance to get one or three points. If there comes along a game you can't win, don't lose it. We are highly motivated, we know home games we have a good points tally. If you want to finish in a good position come May, you need a proper point tally. For that we need to add points, we have that opportunity tomorrow.

I think we'll rotate then a bit more [vs Plymouth]. There's no excuse there's a quick turnaround. Sunday afternoon to Wednesday evening, theoretically we should be ready.

Farke on Norwich fixture scheduling

You go into the next round of the FA Cup, it's difficult to find the perfect time to play the next fixture. Sunday lunchtime, Wednesday evening kick-off, we have three proper nights full sleep, we are fully recovered. Perfect time for Norwich also and this is the best way to choose, rather than thinking we have a game in hand, thinking we've already won. To have just two players in the whole squad unavailable (Gnonto, Struijk), it's pretty comfortable.

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