Leeds United's Joel Piroe only gets credit when he scores but I trust him, says Daniel Farke

Daniel Farke was glad to see Joel Piroe on the Leeds United scoresheet last week because he says it is the only way his striker gets credit.

With Patrick Bamford ruled out of both legs of the Championship play-off semi-final against Norwich City with a knee injury and Farke putting extra emphasis on the defensive work by his forwards which he says is a strength of Piroe's, the Dutchman could have a big part to play in the decisive phase of the season despite being on poor form in its second half.

Piroe's goal was only his fifth since December 2.

That, and Bamford's form, mean he has had to play a bit-part role despite the former Swansea City striker reaching double-figure goals befoe Christmas.

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It is a measure of how Piroe's stock has fallen that in the early part of the campaign Farke launched a passionate and lengthy defence of why he felt Piroe was best coming from deeper, but many of his start since Christmas have been leading the line, the only way he could get into the team.

"The last goal was quite important for him but this is what he's done his whole life, he's just scored goals," said Farke, who takes Leeds back to his former club Norwich for Sunday's first leg. "He's known for this.

"He's not the guy who's always there with magic touches but you always get hard work from him against the ball, he's always covering lots of distance working hard for the team.

STRIKE: Joel Piroe scores Leeds United's equaliser against SouthamptonSTRIKE: Joel Piroe scores Leeds United's equaliser against Southampton
STRIKE: Joel Piroe scores Leeds United's equaliser against Southampton

"When he scores a goal everyone loves him and if he has a game where he doesn't score it's not like he catches the eye with unbelievable movements. He will always be this type of player who will only be celebrated when he scores a goal but it doesn't change how I trust him."

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And Farke insists that despite turning more to Bamford, Georginio Rutter and at times Mateo Joseph from the bench, he has not lost belief in one of his big summer signings.

"I've always have faith in Joel and total belief in him," said Farke. "I always back him and totally trust him.

"When you are a striker, especially at a big, emotional club you're always a bit in the spotlight and when you score goals it feels like you are better than Marco van Basten in his prime, the same as when Patrick Bamford scores he's always in the spotlight.

"And when you don't score for three or four games, it feels like everyone wants to retire him. It's the same with Joel Piroe and any other striker.

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"If you sign a contract at this club as a manager, as a player, sporting director, whoever, you have to be aware you are in a big spotlight. This is one of the biggest clubs in this country in terms of support and spotlight so you have to be mentally strong."

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