Elland Road appeal from Daniel Farke says everything about Leeds United hopes and fears

Daniel Farke is cautious ahead of Leeds United's second leg with Norwich City -Credit:Stephen Pond/Getty Images
Daniel Farke is cautious ahead of Leeds United's second leg with Norwich City -Credit:Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Overdoing it is the big fear Daniel Farke has when he returns to Elland Road with his Leeds United side for the second leg of their play-off semi-final. A sell-out crowd is anticipated in LS11 and the emotions of that vociferous crowd can overcome any footballer, Leeds or opponent.

Farke has seen the power of that stadium over the course of this season. It's feral instincts carried the team to an unforgettable win over champions Leicester City, but the German has also seen some of his players shrink there.

With this match, a do-or-die shot at reaching Wembley, every pass, error, shot and tackle can have immense consequences. Leeds have largely thrived in spotlight games this season, as Farke calls them, but they must not expose themselves to Norwich carelessly by trying to win the game inside 10 minutes.

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Asked if he felt his side now had the advantage with the score level and Elland Road ahead, Farke said: “No, everything's still possible. You [would] rather play at home instead of away, but everything's possible.

“You just have to point to the half-finals in the Champions League, perhaps, so each and every side can win in such a situation. You have to make sure, when you have this support from the home fans, you're not overdoing things, you're not over-motivated.”

Borussia Dortmund, one of the clubs close to Farke’s heart, went away to Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final with a one-goal advantage. The French giants had a far more expensively assembled squad and were the favourites, despite a one-goal deficit.

Kylian Mbappe’s side would have 30 shots to Dortmund’s seven, 70 per cent possession, hit the woodwork multiple times and then lose the tie 2-0 on aggregate. Farke is well aware of what Norwich can do if Leeds over-commit to attacks.

“Norwich is just a really good side and also a threat on the counter-attack,” he said. “If you're too greedy and open too many spaces, then they could punish you. We have to make sure we find a good, fine margin.

“We like to play at home. There's no doubt about this. We have, overall, a really good home record in the season, but it's never guaranteed. [It’s] still 50-50 and both sides have the same chance to earn their spot in the final.

“I’m pleased with the performance today. Overall, happy with the result, but nothing is done yet. It's still a tight game and we have to make sure we keep going because Norwich is a really, really dangerous side.”