Leeds United vs Southampton: Daniel Farke reveals play-off final injury update as Bamford set to sit out Wembley

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Leeds United manager Daniel Farke hosts his last pre-match press conference of the season this afternoon as the Whites prepare to take on Southampton at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.

United are potentially 90 minutes from achieving their goal of promotion this season with Sunday afternoon promising to be a pulsating, nail-biting affair.

Leeds have not beaten Southampton this season, losing both attempts, including most recently at the beginning of this month. While Russell Martin’s men have got the better of Farke and Leeds, the travelling legion of Whites will do their utmost to spur their team onto glory, third time lucky. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Patrick Bamford and Sam Byram sat out the play-off semi-final second leg versus Norwich City last week but over a week has passed since last hearing from Farke, who is expected to open his press conference this afternoon with an update on the pair’s condition. 

Pascal Struijk and Stuart Dallas, meanwhile, remain ruled out for this one. Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu is also absent with an Achilles injury.

Press conference updates from 1:30pm. Stay tuned.

Daniel Farke pre-match press conference live: Leeds United vs Southampton - play-off final

We are prepared for everything.

Quite often I decide spontaneous. When we prepare, we are addicted to prepare in different ways. I have to calm myself not to overload them. In the preparation it’s important to be analytical and work on tactical terms. In the minutes before the game, it’s more like remind of key topics, the basics of football. That we are competitive, confident, win our duels. I quite often decide spontaneous of what the last message is. The last words are often a bit more emotional than more tactics.

In the beginning communication was quite important. I listened to what he said. It’s important to let the players speak, get a feeling for what the problem is, also to work with him, to communicate about finding good solutions, sell your plan to the players, it’s not so much about talking then, it’s more about acting and interacting with them. Then comes down to hard work. I would never praise myself for developing a player, I will always praise the players. We can work with them, bring them close to the door, but they have to take the step through it, take the good advice on board. Georgi had a difficult start to life here, develops in this way, some more challenging spells this season, overall he has played a fantastic season, deserves all the credit, hopefully he can do it in one last game.

Farke on time to prepare

Play-off final is always special because it’s a do-or-die game, you can’t repair mistakes. You can repair over 46 games with some other good results. Cup games you have to be spot on, the focus is pretty special and the concentration level is very high. You have to make sure the players are not over-motivated or excited. I quite like we’ve had time to prepare and to work with the players because even during the season we were at our best when we had time to work on habits, contents and principles. Only negative is the opposition manager has had time to prepare as well.

Farke on motivation to coach in the Premier League again

Nobody is more motivated than me. I wouldn’t sign a contract for any other club on this level. I don’t judge my time at Norwich as unfinished business, we were in the Premier League, last year I was in the Bundesliga, my aim is to work on the Premier League level. This is my big motivation, to work there again with an exciting club, it’s very special in different ways. If it was easy then it’s not my job. I always like challenges, where you can create something special. If possible to create a bit of a legacy. There are coaching legends here at Leeds, we all know their names, hopefully in a few years when we can bring the club back, I can be proud I played a little part in the history of this club. First step is to return back to the Premier League.

Farke on managerial achievements

Every experience helps, I was involved a few times in a title race, the processes of a title race, to play a final are more or less the same. I don’t like to compare some achievements too much because it would be not respectful to my earlier stage in my career. For that I don’t like to compare too much but let’s talk about it after the game if we’ve done this. I’d rather praise us once we’ve achieved something.

We have to handle the Prem Lge quality of Southampton’s offense. We had the most clean sheets in the whole league. It’s good for our confidence and rhythm to return to that in the two Norwich games. Two clean sheets, good defensive behaviour. This is one of the key topics. Best solution is to have the ball, you can’t concede. We want to have as many spells as possible when we dominate possession.

Rituals are always good. We will stick to our normal processes. What we do the day before the game, we have done it several times, in the morning before the game, sometimes go for a walk, perhaps we do this at Wembley we are not too far away, we haven’t decided yet. I want us to concentrate on our contents and not change our habits too much.

Farke on convincing the team of the plan

That’s my job that our players believe in our plan. The most important is to deliver quality on the training pitch, in the meeting room, to analyse the opponent well, to speak about what’s important, to do this methodically, to reach the hearts and souls of the players. We see on the pitch if it works then you need a bit of luck. The longer you are in this business, the more you get the feeling what is necessary. You can’t allow yourself one day to not be switched on, or give one per cent less. It’s always difficult but this is what you have to do in this job. If it was easy anyone could do it.

Never in Wembley before, first time for me but it’s no major news that there are spotlight games or sold-out stadiums, so for that it’s important when you want to lead a young group, to show this leadership, to show what’s capable and to lead with the right choices. Important to send the messages, be focused on ourselves than trying to pretend something we are not. We will not try to do something completely different. It’s important to find a good balance, I am highly motivated, focused, to keep going with a smile on your face.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.