'My way' - Daniel Farke explains approach and expectation during tough Leeds United period

Off-field difficulties have not made life at Leeds United so fraught that Daniel Farke will ease off on his demands and expectations.
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The German has never experienced a situation exactly like the one he's facing at Leeds and has even joked that no team in Europe has had to deal with it, but in more general terms he has been through various examples of footballing adversity.

What Leeds fans know about their manager so far is that he isn't one to sugarcoat the problems facing the club, the team or him as a manager.

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"For me, to be open, to be honest also to speak in public about the things we can speak about, that we can control, that is one of the things that is quite important because I want our supporters and also all the people who are connected with the club to understand the challenges and what makes our life difficult," he said on Thursday ahead of a Friday night meeting with West Bromwich Albion.

"I think the openness and honesty is one point."

Farke's honesty has found favour with Leeds supporters, particularly those concerned by the way the transfer window has gone to date and the shape of the squad ahead of the window. The manager has thus far been a lone Elland Road voice in addressing the raft of release clauses and the financial challenges for Leeds in the transfer market.

What will also play well with his audience as they prepare to pack their famous old ground for a game under the lights, is Farke's strict adherence to his standards, even when times are difficult. His injury list is long and significant - Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper, Crysencio Summerville, Tyler Adams and Junior Firpo are all still out - and the squad has not yet been bolstered to his satisfaction. He feels there is no reason for Leeds to content themselves with anything less than their best.

"You stick to your principles and stick to your rules and don't don't crack under pressure, that's also quite important," he said.

TOUGH TIME - Daniel Farke has a raft of Leeds United injuries to deal with but insists he won't drop his expectations of the squad. Pic: GettyTOUGH TIME - Daniel Farke has a raft of Leeds United injuries to deal with but insists he won't drop his expectations of the squad. Pic: Getty
TOUGH TIME - Daniel Farke has a raft of Leeds United injuries to deal with but insists he won't drop his expectations of the squad. Pic: Getty
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"You stick to your values and you won't let the standard drop and training and say 'okay, it's a difficult situation, even for the players, I could do with perhaps not being focused on training or with a bit less workload.' No - I will hold the standard and the crossbar unbelievably high. I think you need to show some steel and some resilience in this moment. At least that's my way to handle such a situation."

That statement is a window into his treatment of the Willy Gnonto, Helder Costa and Luis Sinisterra situations. Gnonto wants to leave and suddenly last week declared himself unavailable. Costa told the club at the start of the summer that he wanted to go and Leeds agreed. Issues around Sinisterra's release clause led to the Colombian sitting out last weekend. All three have had to train away from the first team this week because Farke wants only players who are fully focused on playing for Leeds involved in his training sessions.

Backing down or compromising on that principle is simply not an option, which again appears to have won the manager approval in the fanbase.

How it goes down with the players will be seen in the fullness of time. Player management, like anything else, requires balance and Farke concedes there is a time for a pastoral approach. But it is always a time for work.

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"It's not like they need to get a cuddle each and every day and my arms around the shoulder," he said.

"Yes at times as well. Yes, it's quite normal, but it's also like, okay, these are professional football players and they lead a privileged life and we want also a lot of work. This is how we want to go with the group."