Leeds United must use disappointment as fuel says Daniel Farke as future is put on hold

Daniel Farke told Leeds United to concentrate on the pain of the present rather than focus on the future after their miserable run in play-off football continued.

The Whites were beaten 1-0 by Southampton on a day when they never showed their best football.

Once Adam Armstrong pounced on a defensive error to put his side in front in the 24th minute, Leeds did not do enough to suggest they could win a play-off final for the first time.

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Dan James hit the crossbar late on but the save he forced from Alex McCarthy was a rare one – for either goalkeeper, with Southampton largely happy to contain Leeds once in front and the Whites lacking the spark to break them down.

After seeing his young team accumulate a points tally – 90 – which would have brought automatic promotion in three of the last five seasons – Farke was loathe to criticise his players, but hopes they can use their disappointment as fuel next season.

“We're suffering a lot in this moment and deeply disappointed because once you come so close after a really terrific season overall with 90 points and a really good play-offs against Norwich but today I can't really say we were the worst side in this final so to lose hurts a lot,” said Farke, who has not failed to win promotion in a Championship season since his debut campaign at Norwich City in 2017-18.

“Southampton defended well and were pretty effective. They had one chance in the first half and they were able to be clinical in this moment.

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“The only statistic that matters are the goals. In the others we dominated – more possession, more chances, more expected goals.”

EXASPERATION: Leeds United manager Daniel FarkeEXASPERATION: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke
EXASPERATION: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

Crysencio Summerville and Willy Gnonto were substituted in the search for an equaliser, but Farke was in no mood to single anyone out for criticism.

“Once you have a game when you don't score it will always be that the offensive players could have been more effective in creating and using chances,” he said.

“Our decision-making was not top-class, especially in the first half.

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“We created so many good situations but whenever we could play a final pass we weren’t precise or tidy enough and it felt sometimes like we needed to be one per cent more committed to the pass or finish.

“We could have been a bit more brutal but when you look at how young my side are offensively and you see a player like Armstrong who more or less knows this league and such situations inside out, he had this one situation and when it counts he is fully on it.”

Leeds must now make plans for next season later than all their Championship rivals with decisions to be made over players returning from loans and those who may need to be sold to balance the books with £79m of transfer instalments owed this summer.

Although he has already started to think about it, Farke insisted it was too early to discuss it in public.

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“It's not the day to deliver upbeat messages and speak too much about what the situation will be in the summer,” he insisted. “After you lose a final it's important to allow yourself to be disappointed.

“It's more important to take these experiences as extra motivation.”

Wembley: Page 26-27

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