Why Daniel Farke does not want to take pressure off inexperienced Leeds United in Championship promotion race

The pressure is on in a Championship promotion race full of pratfalls. Leeds United have a less experienced squad than most to deal with it but manager Daniel Farke quite likes his players feeling the heat.

A first home defeat this season, 1-0 to relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers, denied them top spot.

Then-leaders Leicester City lost 1-0 to Plymouth Argyle – also not safe from League One – the previous night and although Ipswich Town went top hours after full-time at Elland Road, they still dropped two points at home to Middlesbrough.

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Fourth-placed Southampton are six points behind Leeds with two games in hand. They visit Elland Road on the final day of the season.

The tension was palpable on Saturday when Leeds were frustrated by weak refereeing enabling Blackburn's time-wasting and a lack of creativity to overcome stout and sometimes rugged defending.

Junior Firpo hit a post but five shots on target was poor return for three quarters of the ball.

Manager Farke was in no mood for sympathy or promotion talk, just to work on his side's failings before their next game, at Middlesbrough a week on Monday.

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He sees inexperience as a bi-product of many advantages Leeds need to start exploiting again after two defeats and a 0-0 draw in three games.

PRESSURE ON: Leeds United manager Daniel FarkePRESSURE ON: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke
PRESSURE ON: Leeds United manager Daniel Farke

"We're a pretty young side and at such an emotional club like Leeds United it's not that easy to handle all the pressure,” he argued.

"But it's something we can't influence because we are happy we have so many quality players who will (learn from) the experiences and be more mature in five or six years.

"Even with their naivety they can find some good solutions and be more effective.

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"I haven't complained about the mentality of my young players before and I won't start after two games without scoring. I'd rather work with them on their personalities to give them more mental steel.

"I can't question their work ethic and desire. It's not the moment to punish them but we have to be more effective and more concentrated and focused when it comes down to bringing the ball into the net."

Farke dismissed talk of pressure as a problem with three matches left (possibly up to six) which will dramatically effect the club's finances.

"I'm not sure if I want to take the pressure fully away," he said. "They enjoy such a privileged life and it's important if you want to work in this business to take what come along with it – not just the positives.

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"There are high expectations and you have to accept this but it's important you don't let these negative aspects drive your emotional life.

"Look at the fate of a great guy like Stuart Dallas (who retired through injury last week). We are not happy that we are not effective enough but at least we can go out on the pitch and work on this."

Talk of league positions and points totals is of little interest to Farke either, he insists.

"Once you have two home games in a row without scoring you don't have to put messages out about the promotion race or the title race, you have to stay humble and concentrate on the content," he said.

Blackburn moved up to 49 points, five ahead of Huddersfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday.

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