Leeds United v Swansea City: The men who allow Daniel Farke to concentrate on beating Swans

It was clear as Leeds United players effortless switched positions in Friday’s first half at Rotherham United, each seemingly instinctively knowing where they needed to be even when their mate popped up somewhere unexpected, that things are gelling nicely at Elland Road.

But Leeds’ failure to win the game shows there is still much to do in manager Daniel Farke’s endless search for perfection.

Football fans, understandably, focus on the thing every aspect of a club ought to be geared to – the 90 minutes on a Saturday, Wednesday, or whenever the television companies want them to play. But underpinning it is what happens behind the scenes, and Farke is just as happy with the improving teamwork there too.

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The proof, according to the German, is that he is spending less time talking to American-based chairman Paraag Marathe, with both more comfortable in the structures around them. One of the pillars was reinforced when former Swindon Town and Reading goalkeeper Nick Hammond's short-term contract as football advisor was recently extended through the next two transfer windows.

Like the chefs and nutritionists Farke name-checked before Wednesday's Championship visit of Swansea City for their work in keeping players in good shape, to have someone he now trusts overseeing transfers alongside technical director Gretar Steinsson is important too, allowing him to concentrate on the front-of-house work accumulating points in a competitive Championship promotion race.

"He's brilliant and key to our success in recent months by gaining more and more stability for this club," says Farke of Hammond. "I've got great support with Angus (Kinnear, the chief executive), Nick and Gretar.

"Nick with his experience, his connections, his network, his quality, he has worked in the role as a sporting director and it’s how he handles things in difficult circumstances – we spoke a lot about our contractual situations in the summer. He's used all his qualities and his experience but also he's a great personality, fully committed to our club.

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"t's a perfect decision to keep him for longer. Our relationship is great, it's a joy to work with him more or less on a daily basis. The same with Angus and Gretar.

HELPING HANDS: Leeds United manager Daniel FarkeHELPING HANDS: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke
HELPING HANDS: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

"We've got a very big group with many people we have to talk about but it's creating more and more an atmosphere where we know each other and speak day to day more."

Gone are the days when football clubs were run by a dictator in the manager's office. Leeds United have become too big an operation for the manager to be as omnipresent as Don Revie was, and it is now about taking hurdles and distractions away from Farke and his managerial counterparts.

"It's a task for Nick and Gretar to prepare the mid- and long-term picture, not just January but what happens the next season and sometimes even a bit further ahead, this is quite important," stresses Farke.

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"It's important for me to concentrate and focus on the daily work and the shot-term success. I have to focus on the next game and make sure the next training session and next game are on a top level.

CHAIRMAN: But Paraag Marathe is based in San FranciscoCHAIRMAN: But Paraag Marathe is based in San Francisco
CHAIRMAN: But Paraag Marathe is based in San Francisco

"So it's important to have people I trust like Nick, Gretar and Angus working in the background on things that are important for January and next summer and even the next years.

"We chat about it but my main focus is still the here and now. I'm grateful to have these people giving a bit more time to the middle- and long-term."

If talking more to that triumvirate is a good sign, so is speaking less to his chairman, Farke insists.

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"In the beginning when we had the initial talks, (I spoke to them) a lot because I wanted to see the whole picture and how they want to lead the club, what were the values and the processes," he explains.

"My gut feeling was really good and we were pretty much on the same page on how to bring stability and mid- and long-term success, not just short-term.

"Everyone wants short-term (success), we want sustainability.

"In the beginning it was important to speak about many things but he (Marathe)'s also experienced in the sport business and he knows I have to focus on my players and so much work, especially in the Championship – this league is relentless.

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"I don't have too much time to be distracted by too many chats about many other things so I think we've found a really good balance between being in touch and still having the time and energy to concentrate on the daily work.

"This club is really blessed with lots of quality people.

"We just have to make sure that further on we make the right decisions and we have to be on it, not enjoying ourselves too much, staying focused and staying awake."

There seems little danger of Farke falling asleep at the wheel and hopefully under this set-up, fewer things to take his eye off the road ahead.