Daniel Farke wants Leeds United to get the right balance in Wembley quest at passionate Elland Road

DANIEL FARKE wants Leeds United to use the passion of Elland Road to get to Wembley, but warned his players not to get carried away by it.

He needs to be cool-headed too as he ponders what changes, if any, to make from Sunday's first leg at Carrow Road.

In theory, the Whites have home advantage for Thursday's Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Norwich City, effectively reduced to a one-off tie by the 0-0 draw in the first leg.

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That is slightly undermined by Leeds' only Elland Road win in the play-offs coming in 1987, but the past is just that, and the Whites would surely rather be on their own ground than someone else's.

That is certainly manager Farke's view, although he realises his players will need a balanced mindset to make the most of their advantage.

"It will definitely be an amazing atmosphere, much whiter than yellow," said former Norwich manager Farke, who was confronted with the opposite scene on Sunday's return.

"It was important to keep our nerves (on Sunday) and we can't be too impressed with the atmosphere (on Thursday). We have to use this but not be over-excited.

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"You'd rather play at home but everything's possible. Each side can win in such a situation.

BALANCE: Leeds United manager Daniel FarkeBALANCE: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke
BALANCE: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

"You also have to make sure that when you have the support of the home fans you're not over-doing things, you're not over-motivated.

"Norwich are a really good side with a threat on the counter-attack so if you're too greedy and open too many spaces they can punish you.

"We have to find the fine margin.

"We like to play at home, there's no doubt about this, and overall we have a really good home record but it's no guarantee.

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"It's still 50-50 and both sides have the same chance to earn a spot in the final. Nothing is done yet so it's still a tight tie."

Getting the right balance will be a challenge with former defender-turned-pundit Jon Newsome calling for a different starting XI in today's Yorkshire Post. Farke's first-leg selection erred on the side of conservatism and lacked a real focal point with Georginio Rutter struggling to hold the ball up in a No 9 role he has not played much in 2024.

Farke also explained his choice had something to do with the weaknesses in Norwich's back four.

"We wanted to be flexible with him," he said. "We know he's a player with pace and mobility and for centre-backs it's not that easy to deal with especially when you're a tall and physical centre-back.

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"We wanted him sometimes to stretch the game, at other times we wanted him to play a but like a ‘false nine’ (a striker who drops deep) and open gaps where (Willy) Gnonto and Cree Summerville could explore the space a bit.

"We could have done with a little bit more but we played against a really good side who'd earned their spot in the semi-final.

"We wanted to be flexible and allow them to change positions because it's one of our strengths. When you play against such a physical back four, you have to have fluidity.

"I would have liked it more if we would have brought the ball into this rectangle (the goal), but, overall, the approach was quite good.”

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Of his use of Archie Gray as the foremost midfield player, he said: "One reason was that we conceded, especially in the last away games, too many goals and we know we always have creative players and goal threats on the pitch so we wanted to make sure we used Archie's ability to cover ground, his intensity and strength in duels to be a bit more disciplined in our work.

"Norwich have so many technical players, especially in the centre of the park, and we had many problems in our home game in the season when we allowed players like (Gabriel) Sara, (Marcelino) Nunez and (Kenny) McLean a bit too much space to control the game."

The tie will be decided by extra-time and penalties if needs be.

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