Middlesbrough vs Leeds United: Daniel Farke reveals early team news and injury update before Riverside visit

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Leeds United manager Daniel Farke hosts his pre-match press conference this afternoon ahead of Monday night’s visit to the Riverside Stadium.

Leeds find themselves in something of a must-win situation if they are to keep automatic promotion hopes alive and well on Monday evening. The short trip to Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium will see the Whites take on Michael Carrick’s outfit, whose own chance of promotion via the Championship play-offs appears decidedly slim.

Boro have gone nine games without defeat and will be no pushovers on home turf, though, meaning Leeds will have to be at their best to come away with all three points.

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Following defeat to Blackburn Rovers last weekend, Leeds are not thought to have any fresh injury concerns but Farke is expected to provide a timely update on the status of his first-team squad.

Follow Farke’s presser via text updates right here from 1:30pm.

Daniel Farke pre-match press conference LIVE

Farke on risk-taking

It’s a bit tempting because when the spotlight is on the games, you are tempted to do something exceptional or special. But it’s also important not to overdo it. Not to judge this job like a chess match between the managers, it’s important to stay humble and help your team and overload them with too many changes in approach. You have to take risks sometimes to improve in a few areas. If it’s worth taking the risk, the result will tell you.

We have conversations in the background on what is possible and not possible, this is not for the public. My topic is football, I love to speak about football. I’m not an accountant, I’ve also got an economic background a little bit, I understand the background, when we have conversations I understand what is necessary. I believe the club is in top class hands. I think we’re definitely on the right path. I’m sure we’ll have a really good future. Perhaps we will not be the club who’s capable to spend the biggest money, not in the Premier League or Championship. I don’t want to be successful just because I can buy the best players, I want the processes to be the right way. Your life is easier as a manager when you can bring quality in. I will be insistent on giving us the best possible squad. If it’s not possible, I’ll not be asking for miracles. This club does not rely on one player or spending loads of money. We want to build something with sustainability, as long as I’m here we’ll work exactly in this way.

I invite everyone to be a believer it’s more fun than being a moaner. We go for it anyway.

Farke on rebuilding confidence

It was relatively easier after last game, obviously we’re disappointed with the outcome but it was easy, I point to the statistics and the scenes from the last game. We dominated this game with possession, shots, corners, Expected Goals, I could go on with all the statistics, but they don’t matter. If you play this game 30 times, you win 28 times. It was just one of those days. Unlucky that it happens in second last home game but for us not that much has changed.

In general, passing skills is one of his strengths, but I wouldn’t label him a creative No. 10, he doesn’t play the final pass. I think we have players in this area on the pitch to initiate our attacks from the midfield point of view, I think for a centre-back he’s outstanding in his build-up skills. He has shown with a chipped ball, or assist to goals, remember the goal Georgi scored in the first half of the season this chipped ball. In this role he even has the freedom to have a bit more time on the ball to find the forward passes and wouldn’t label it we’re getting worse because he’s moving back. Ilia is also pretty good at finding vertical passes and also judge and rate Ethan in a midfield role very high. I also rate him in central defensive position and thank god he’s a player who delivers wherever we need him. Be nice to have two or three players of his calibre.

I don’t like to comment too much on private life, because they are all adults and for that I rather speak about sport but I have to say, I was a bit shocked and all a bit shocked when we heard the news that there was a car accident. Happy to hear everything physically was okay and mentally as well. He explained what happened and totally trust and have no reason to doubt his words. There is nothing there to criticise or accuse, just a very unlucky accident at least what he has explained and I have no reasons to doubt his explanation. Relieved he came out of this difficult situation with no problems, delivered good training performance in the last two games and that’s all that matters.

Farke on German 50+1 model that Leeds can emulate

I wouldn’t speak just because of one year about a trend. We have clubs in Germany like Bayern, Dortmund, Leverkusen, they will always be competitive, it’s a bit extraordinary there are three German clubs in this position [European semi-finals] but it’s important for every club to be sustainable, smart, what you spend, don’t be addicted to short-term success and develop the club. That’s one of the reasons I signed for this club, we had conversations, we wanted to make sure not every penny into salaries, invest in training ground and facilities. When I have a look into our squad, we have some quality players and also better financial opportunities than other clubs in this league but we try to spend it wisely. We don’t do anything stupid. This is why we’re playing with a young squad compared to our competitors at the top. Sometimes this makes it more unlikely to be successful. It’s quite often a side very experienced, like for example Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, who wins the league. It’s never that easy with a relatively young group but this is also what we’re all about. Our last starting lineup, Meslier, experienced already but pretty young age. Joe Rodon, Ethan Ampadu, when I compare this with teams fighting for top positions, they are all more experienced. Ilia Gruev and Archie Gray, look at Southampton, Ipswich and Leicester, they all have more experience. Summerville 22, Rutter 21, Gnonto 20, Piroe the oldest at 24, we still have to develop and grow, we are not the end product, we’re not a result machine and always deliver. Youth can be ineffective like in the last game. This is also one of our cornerstones, we don’t want to spend crazy money to bring older, more experienced players in. This will be our way for the future, I won’t judge anything that happened in the past, but as long as I’m in this role, I’ll try to lead the club with sustainability.

Farke on no more cup replays

I tried to concentrate on things I can influence and don’t comment on other decisions, I leave it to the authorities, the people who weigh the advantages and disadvantages. As a manager you are concerned with too many games, but I’d rather play than train. Supporters want to see proper games. I’m far away from punishing replay situations. In my first position in English football was for Norwich and in my first season we were under unbelievable pressure to gain money. We had a really good Carabao and FA Cup run, we had a home game against Chelsea, a draw and then travelled to Stamford Bridge and it was important as we need each and every pound. Especially for the smaller clubs it’s beneficial. To be allowed and able to present bigger clubs in their home games to supporters is great, but there are some disadvantages with replays in terms of the fixture list. It’s not an easy decision but as far as I can say, I got benefits in my situation with replays, I leave this decision to the authorities.

It’s always a side in recent weeks with really good performances, unbeaten run, top class performances aside. At the beginning of the season they speak about wanting to finish in the top six. I expect them to keep going until the end, they are playing highly motivated, I expect them to play with less pressure, a local game. I expect a really tough game for us, but this is more or less what we face in 46 gamedays. We know we have to be at the best to win the points.

Farke on pressure from owners

From the owners, it’s just backing and trust. The pressure we have is we’ve brought us into a privileged position and we want to use it. We’re playing a top class season, point tally, goal difference, remarkable. By far the best team in the second half of the season. In many statistics we are leading the league. We do it step by step. We brought it into the privileged position that we will definitely finish top four, you want to take the last step to play a perfect season, we want to promote. We have two chances.

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