Farke boils over, Ayling allegiances, Cooper touchline explosion in Leeds United moments missed

Daniel Farke can be seen in the background coaching Ilia Gruev after the Leeds United game has finished -Credit:Greig Cowie/REX/Shutterstock
Daniel Farke can be seen in the background coaching Ilia Gruev after the Leeds United game has finished -Credit:Greig Cowie/REX/Shutterstock

Luke Ayling was always going to be at the centre of Monday night’s game between his parent club and temporary employer. The long-serving Leeds United right-back did not hide away from the limelight or any difficult questions from the broadcasters either.

While he spent the night watching the game alongside fellow loanee Sam Greenwood, Ayling was getting among both camps and in front of the cameras before kick-off. While you will have seen his on-screen interview, you may not have seen how much time he spent with United’s backroom staff.

Ayling is very close to the likes of Rob Price, head of medicine and performance, and his medical department after nearly eight years at Elland Road. He was chatting with the staff in the Leeds technical area for a long time during the warm-ups.

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Farke loses his cool

There was so much riding on last night. Automatic promotion would have remained mathematically possible without a win on Teesside, but the current league table made it very tall order for the Whites without the three points.

After one win in five games, tensions were running high and there was anxiety in the Leeds camp to ensure to they stayed in front on the night. As the first half approached its conclusion, Daniel Farke’s frustrations began to boil over.

Holding his palms out, Farke seemed to calling on his players to hold their positions or take better care of possession. They were not meeting his demands and he repeatedly went back and forth to the dugout to vent with his backroom staff.

Cooper can’t hold it in

As Crysencio Summerville wheeled away to celebrate his majestic second goal of the night, putting Leeds 4-2 in front, captain Liam Cooper could not contain himself. The benched skipper leapt out from the dugout and celebrated at the front of the technical area with several staff members. They all knew how important that goal was.

Gray stands his ground again

One of the sub-plots during this season has been the keenness of some opponents to think they can lean on or intimidate teenager Archie Gray. Finn Azaz, 23, was the latest to leave one on the youngster by the touchline, but Gray went head to head with him before the referee and team-mates intervened.

Gruev’s turn for on-the-job training

Farke has never been shy in coaching his players immediately after the final whistle while they are still on the field. Djed Spence was memorably spoken to after the win at Blackburn Rovers in December when he had been less than proactive in tracking back.

On Monday night, it was Ilia Gruev who Farke went to and spoke with for several minutes, gesticulating around the field as he debriefed the Bulgarian on what he could improve on.