Leeds United's major training ground 'working point' for Southampton revealed after recent issue

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Leeds United are now in the period of the season when a single goal could define them and their near future.

Saturday will only bring an end to the campaign in the most miraculous of circumstances - a Huddersfield Town win over Ipswich Town coupled with a Leeds victory over Southampton at Elland Road. So just imagine it, Huddersfield somehow going into the final minutes at Portman Road with a lead while the Whites and the Saints approach the full-time whistle level. Even if the unlikeliest outcomes does not make Saturday one for the ages, then at least two more games will follow in which a solitary goal could mean the difference between glory and another season in the Championship. Having been shut out by QPR, Leeds' attackers must quickly return to their dangerous best and someone will have to step up in a big way.

But as he approaches Southampton, at home, Daniel Farke admits what happens in Leeds' own area has also been a big part of his focus. "In the crunch time period when it actually goes to the play-offs and let's be honest, also this game is a bit like a play-off game because we need to win it, even a draw, a loss wouldn't change anything now in our position on the table, we need to win this game and to be there with good defensive behaviour is always the key," he said on Thursday.

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"There's no doubt about this. And yeah, there are several things that you have to do. First of all, to be open and honest about what went wrong in the last game, also to be self critical. Then also to make our physio and rehab department to work as good as possible to perhaps get some important players back to make them available but even if not, then to work on this defensive behaviour, especially on the training pitch. This is also why I liked last week because if I’m honest, when we had one week to prepare for a game and we had one week also to spend on the training pitch normally we have always delivered in these terms during the season. The moments when we're struggling a bit with conceding too many or perhaps not topping our basic behaviour was always like when there was a quick turnaround and like last week two away games within four days. When we have time on the training pitch to work on it and not just recovery between the games, we're always better."

He went on to reiterate the equal importance of being effective and efficient at the other end of the pitch, as they were at Middlesbrough in that madcap 4-3 victory. Those four goals took Leeds to 80 in the league for the season, which tells a tale about how much threat their attackers have carried. Three of them are already in double figures, two are a pair of goals away and Georginio Rutter alone has 15 assists.

But those numbers do not tell the story of Leeds' recent struggles when it comes to sticking the ball away. They haven't done it in three of the last four games. Championship Player of the Season Crysencio Summerville has been crowded out and frustrated, Rutter has gone off the boil since his international break operation, Daniel James got injured, Patrick Bamford has missed a few big chances and then got injured and Joel Piroe looks like a shell of the player who scored nine times by mid-December.

Though for a long time Farke has been calling for goals from elsewhere, especially the midfield, they are yet to materialise. None of Glen Kamara, Ilia Gruev or Archie Gray have been credited with a single goal during this league campaign.

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And when scoring from open play becomes an issue then you have to look elsewhere, specifically to the dead ball. The early promise they showed from set-pieces has essentially dried up. Sam Byram, Pascal Struijk and Liam Cooper initially brought their physical presence to the opposition box to good effect. Even if the goals were not always headed directly from the delivery, Leeds caused problems and scrambles that allowed Struijk to turn the ball home, twice, with his feet. Outswingers seemed to do the trick, resulting in goals against Cardiff, Shrewsbury, Watford, Southampton and Leicester. More recently, deliveries have looked poorer and poorer, resulting in fewer and fewer chances never mind goals. Last season Leeds scored 11 from set-pieces. In the promotion campaign it was 12. Right now, they're sitting on eight.

Even at this late stage Farke is prioritising this area, because that's what might well make the difference between getting what they want and waving three others off to the promised land. It has been looked at extensively this week.

"We were the best team in the first half of the season by scoring out of set pieces," he said. "So we want to gain this momentum back and those strengths back. We know that we have it, we’re also capable to score but in recent weeks deliveries were sometimes really poor I have to say. Our runs were not timed. Yes it also has to do with some players who are not available who are capable to score out of this. Pascal Struijk for example, was quite important for us to score out of these situations. And Sam Byram is back right now and also in the mix, he has scored out of the situation. Liam Cooper. It has also to do with some injuries of really good players in this areas. We have players for example, also our takers who due to some individual problems in terms of muscular problems, and couldn't train it with this consistency like we normally would train it in order to not to risk muscular injury. It has to do a bit with a busy spell. Cree Summerville for example is always struggling, Daniel James with muscle injuries but once we have the time like during this week, it's also important still to focus on your strengths but also to work on the little weaknesses. And one of the weaknesses was, for example, that we didn't score enough out of set pieces in the recent weeks and this was one of the major topics during this week. Hopefully we can also bring it on the pitch but it was also definitely one of the major working points during this week in order to threaten the opponent's goal a bit more again out of set pieces."

One goal could do it on Saturday. Probability says not but the possibility remains. One could do it in a play-off semi-final, even over two legs. And one could do it at Wembley. If, as Farke is fond of saying, it takes a three-times deflected strike off any part of anyone, then no one will care how it arrived. But the more offensive weapons they carry with them into what will now be play-off games of a yet-to-be-determined quantity, the more chance they will give themselves of scoring that historic goal, the one that makes a difference. The one that everyone will remember.

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