Leeds United players must deal with 'emotion' that comes with a contract, says Daniel Farke

Daniel Farke says anyone who signs for Leeds United has to be able to ride the emotions that are only likely to increase in the coming weeks.

The Whites are involved in a tight four-way race for two automatic promotion to get back to the Premier League. If they fail in that, they will have a second chance in May's four-team play-offs.

But the financial implications of being in England's top division , never mind the footballing ones, means they cannot afford to miss out.

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Leeds are second in the Championship, only a win behind leaders Leicester City, but only a draw ahead of Ipswich Town, who play before them this weekend. Southampton are six points behind but have a game in hand and a trip to Elland Road on the final day of the season.

It seems to guarantee an exciting and emotional finish, but little else.

Dealing with the desperation of fans who badly want to see their club do well is a burden Leeds players – and off-field staff – must be able to handle, says manager Farke.

The intensity will go up another notch at Easter when the final 10-game run-in begins with two games in four days for all the contenders but before the international break Leeds first have to contend with a visit from Millwall, a match-up which is never a stroll in the park.

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"Once you sign a contract for Leeds United you have to know this club is very emotional, the fanbase is so huge and the expectations are huge," said Farke, who has previously managed Borussia Monchengladbach and Norwich City. "With our tradition and our fanbase, everyone has the attitude that they are 'up' against us.

ROLLER-COASTER: Leeds United manager  Daniel FarkeROLLER-COASTER: Leeds United manager  Daniel Farke
ROLLER-COASTER: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

"Once you sign a contract as a player or staff member with us you have to take on a responsibility that is even a bit than perhaps, with all respect, for some other clubs.

"You need to enjoy this challenge otherwise my recommendation would be don't sign a contract for Leeds United.

"You have to handle emotion and that people can perhaps be a bit over the line in both ways. It's important once you sign a contract for this club that you're fully aware of what you're doing."

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IN DEMAND: Andoni Iraola has not given up on Leeds United loanee Jaidon AnthonyIN DEMAND: Andoni Iraola has not given up on Leeds United loanee Jaidon Anthony
IN DEMAND: Andoni Iraola has not given up on Leeds United loanee Jaidon Anthony

Even with Pascal Struijk injured, the centre-back has only made two substitute appearances – both in the 89th minute – in the Championship since New Year's Day, although he played the whole of home-and-away FA Cup ties against Plymouth Argyle (the latter went to extra time), and the fifth-round tie at Chelsea.

Leeds will be pleased if Cooper gets valuable minutes as part of Scotland's Euro 2024 preparations.

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola plans to have another look at winger Jaidon Anthony in pre-season when his loan at Leeds is over.

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The winger moved as a makeweight when Luis Sinisterra joined Bournemouth in a deal that has now become permanent. He has made just two Championship starts at Elland Road.

"I think he is a very good player to have in the squad, because he’s valuable in different positions and is very reliable,” Iraola said of Anthony.

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