Farke on Ferrell, Norwich and play-off pressure

Daniel Farke
[PA Media]

Daniel Farke will become the first Leeds United manager in six attempts to win a play-off if he secures an immediate return to the Premier League.

United's sorry history when trying to climb out of both the second and third tiers of English football may well weigh heavy on supporters but Farke is yet to experience the end of season mini campaign having successfully negotiated semi-final opponents Norwich City to automatic promotion on two occasions.

Before Sunday's semi-final first leg against the Canaries, Farke has been speaking to the media. Here are the key lines:

  • Striker Patrick Bamford will miss both legs of the Championship play-off semi final with a knee injury. Damage to his patella was previously undiagnosed. Farke said: “He's seen a different knee consultant and the new diagnosis says there is mini trauma in his patellar tendon. We were not aware of this."

  • Winger Dan James may be fit after missing the final two games of the regular season through injury.

  • The narrative for many will be Farke against his old club but is the real story about about his man management skills this week? He said: "Young side. I trust my players. It's not about me. It's not about playing chess with the opponent's manager. In such a crunch game it's the players who decide things. Managers are there to support them and back them and prepare them in the best possible way. This game will not be won or lost by great decisions on the touchline. It's totally up to the players."

  • Farke continued: "We are not experienced, but I would not change one player. The winning mentality we have. When there is a special occasion - two times against Leicester and Ipswich - we won four times. More consistency on other days in the office and we would have done better. In spotlight games, this team is spot on."

  • Asked how he installs confidence, Farke said: "No psychological games. Hard work on the training field. Win the confidence back with hard work. Success on the training pitch. Good positions on the training pitch. Reminding them step by step they do not need to do something different or special."

  • Having beaten Norwich twice this season, Farke reflected: "The season does not matter now. It's a new competition. Two wins against Norwich do not matter. We had 46 games to earn the place in the play-offs. That's good, but it's a new competition and have to concentrate on now rather than the past."

  • Asked about investment in the club from actor Will Ferrell, Farke said: "We need each and every man. It's always good. A great actor. We are all happy he's on board, but I don't think it will help us score at Norwich. It says a lot about the calibre of this club which has many well-known supporters who we are thankful for. But its up to the players to win these games."