Referee made a 'crucial mistake' insists Daniel Farke, plus what the Leeds United boss said about the display v West Brom plus an Ian Poveda update

LEEDS UNITED manager Daniel Farke felt that referee Matt Donohue made a ‘crucial mistake’ in awarding West Brom’s goal in Friday’s 1-1 Championship draw at Elland Road – as the Whites’ winless start to the league season continued.

Albion took the lead on 52 minutes when Brandon Thomas-Asante diverted in Jayson Molumby’s shot into the net with his hand. Replays showed that the visiting player was also offside, but unfortunately no VAR is in operation in the second-tier, so the goal stood.

Commendably, Leeds showed a lot of character and reacted well, levelling on 72 minutes courtesy of a header from captain Luke Ayling.

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Farke said: "Normally, I never comment on any decisions of the referee because after the game, we cannot change it.

Daniel Farke appeals for a decision in Leeds United's game against West Bomwich Albion at Elland Road. Picture: Bruce RollinsonDaniel Farke appeals for a decision in Leeds United's game against West Bomwich Albion at Elland Road. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Daniel Farke appeals for a decision in Leeds United's game against West Bomwich Albion at Elland Road. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

"Even the guys from Sky told me it was a clear handball before the goal and also offside. I cannot change it right now. In the game, it was too difficult for me to see, but I just had a feeling it was handball and it was quite obvious.

"I trusted the referee at this moment, but it seems like it was a crucial mistake and it i sad for him. It was even more disappointing and sad for us.

"I think it was pretty close for the penalty, but I haven’t watched it back so far.

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"We couldn’t challenge it and have to accept it. There is no VAR in this league. For that, we have to accept the goal against.

"We had more much possession and 12 shots out of the box and in the first half, we didn’t give away a chance.

"We just had one goal and created many, many chances and should have scored (more), if you want to be critical with my lads.

"I don’t want to be critical to be honest, but If I have to criticise, we have to take our chances and be more brutal and clinical. We should have won three points.

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"But I also want to praise the attitude of the lads who never know when they are beaten.”

Farke refused to talk about any transfer speculation amid reports that Tyler Adams is closing in on a move to Bournemouth and that Everton target Wilfried Gnonto submitted a written transfer request ahead of the game.

He commented: “Tonight, it is not a topic. I don’t realise what has happened over the day. The topics in terms of incomings and outgoings, from tomorrow morning, I will concentrate on this topic and work a lot.

"Today, I was just concentrated to put all my attention and support, help and tactical knowledge to the players who were available. That was my only focus. "Just the game. I told everybody before: ‘Listen, until after the game, I don’t want to hear anything about any transfers, incomings or possible outgoings.”

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Farke, who only named seven players on the bench – including just five outfield players – confirmed Ian Poveda missed the game with injury.

He said: “He felt some pain this morning in his abductor and we scanned him and did not take the risk. It is a little strain and he will be out for ten days and he will miss the game next week."

Meanwhile, goalscorer Ayling admits that he cannot wait for the transfer window to close, so Leeds finally have some clarity and closure in terms of which players will be at the club to help Leeds move forward in 2023-24 – and which players won’t be.

He said: "This Championship season is a very long season and we have 43 games to go. I am not going to lie, I cannot wait for this window to close, so we know what we have got.

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"Of course, there's a lot of uncertainty and a lot of players going and hopefully we will get a few in over the next few weeks.

"We have a great squad in there, a young group who want to do really well. It's frustrating for the fans at the moment, but I promise them we are working hard every day.

"We are a young team and I am sure things will come good.”