The eye-catching numbers behind Leeds United's impressive second-half feats - which will be duly noted by Daniel Farke

AMID the plethora of impressive statistics that Leeds United have been busy recording so far this season, several defensive numbers will be giving Daniel Farke particular reason for satisfaction.

His side have conceded just ten goals in the second-half of league matches so far in 2023-24. It’s the best goals against figure in the Championship and only Liverpool (7) and Mansfield Town (8) have let in fewer across the top four divisions.

At Elland Road, Leeds have shipped just four goals in the second period of games.

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Farke, inset, whose side came from behind to triumph at the death after conceding an opener inside 65 seconds of Sunday’s home game with Preston, said: “We were in there with three clean sheets in a row (before the game).

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.Leeds United manager Daniel Farke. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.
Leeds United manager Daniel Farke. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

"We started a bit too slow and we did not have enough aggression in the first minute. We didn’t expect the worst from the free kick and weren’t sharp enough for the second phase.

"If you don’t start on the front foot and aren’t awake and aware, sometimes you can concede such a goal.

"But it was important we returned to our best level of defending. Although many defenders aren’t available at this moment, I am pretty pleased. We conceded, but made sure we did not concede anymore and I think in the second half, there was not even a chance for Preston. It was about us not losing our nerve."

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United’s good habits, discipline and game management all came to the fore against a niggly Preston side who pushed the boundaries and tested the hosts mentally.

Despite an early concession, Leeds showed they are not prone to panic and turned things around. Only Ipswich have taken more Championship points from losing positions this season.

In the second period, they had not just a stiff wind to contend with but a Preston side who were intent upon running down the clock at every juncture.

Farke's side were not put off and kept going. Their rewards came in the fourth minute of stoppage time, through Joel Piroe's penalty.Farke, whose side host his former club Norwich City on Wednesday, continued: “We are capable of turning games and come back out of losing positions to win games.

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"If you want to finish in the top positions, you need to have these moments. It’s a reminder to my Norwich times when the games often started in minute 90!

"There were many games where we scored late goals and we are showing this and there’s nothing better for the togetherness and unity of the lads and the whole club.

"We are still playing with many young players in crucial positions and they will grow.

We know we have a pretty exciting young side.

"Sometimes, finding the right balance to play pragmatically with such a young side is not that easy. But we try and bring this winning mentality into their hearts.

"I wouldn’t say we are perfect and the finished article. But when I compare our game management and how we handle this with the beginning of the season, I am pretty pleased.”