Jurgen Klopp message rallies Leeds United troops for final Championship push

Jurgen Klopp and Daniel Farke crossed swords when the latter was at Norwich City -Credit:John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Jurgen Klopp and Daniel Farke crossed swords when the latter was at Norwich City -Credit:John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

October 2015 marked the turning of the red tide on Merseyside. Jurgen Klopp’s maiden press conference as Liverpool boss struck a chord that has remained with Leeds United boss Daniel Farke.

When Klopp held court that day the Reds’ wait for a league title had reached 25 years. Believers of the 1970s and 1980s had become 21st-century doubters at Anfield. Klopp sought to change that mentality with his opening gambit.

Within five years Liverpool would be champions of England again, before following it up with another Champions League two seasons later. Farke is nine months into his Elland Road tenure and he has the club on the brink of automatic promotion from the Championship.

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The German inherited a fractured squad during a turbulent, post-relegation summer, yet he has steered the ship towards a hopeful conclusion. Farke has, however, quickly learnt to understand the fragile confidence that exists along Elland Road’s terraces.

After 20 years of pain, disappointment, anger and mismanagement, save for three glorious seasons with an Argentine, United’s support has grown to believe nice things are not for them. Good outcomes do not tend to dwell in LS11 and the angst of Elland Road on a big matchday is only too easy to hear.

Like Klopp nine years before him, Farke wants to see a shift in mentality at Leeds. Optimism, he feels, is a far better default state to live in.

“I totally believe in this group and I totally trust these players, but because we are not the finished end product, I can't guarantee we will always be there with a perfect outcome,” he said. “I don't want to copy anyone, but I think it was my German fella Jurgen Klopp, once he joined Liverpool, he said ‘We have to start this process to become believers, not doubters.’

“This is more or less like what I would like to invite everyone who is connected with Leeds United. These lads have done so fantastic, and also this club, the key people in this club, have done so fantastic to come from a really difficult situation 10 months ago into this position right now.

“We have an exciting young team with lots of potential and we are on the right path and we're developing so much in the right direction. These lads deserve so much backing and so much trust and I would like to invite everyone to be a believer, to believe we can do it, that we can make our season a perfect season.

“Either by using the first bullet by climbing up the table to the top two, or if not then by the second bullet, to play a perfect season to go into the play-offs. I would rather finish the season at the beginning of May if I’m really honest, of course.

“I was also looking forward to planning a bit earlier, to have a bit more of a relaxed summer, but if not, then we also go for the play-offs. Right now, we're just focused on the last three games, come on be a believer.”

Far from being dictatorial, Farke accepts there will be some who prefer to be sceptics, cynics and doubters. He insists his young side will look to make them proud all the same.

“Believe we can do this and we go for it and if you choose to stay a doubter and moan a bit and then be pessimistic and whatever, don't worry, we go for it anyway,” he said. “Not a problem, but believe me, it feels much better if you're a believer.

“This is more or less why I would like to invite everyone who backs us because this young group needs backing, this young group needs trust and needs support and deserves it. This is what I'm totally convinced of and we go for it.

“I can promise we go for it. I can't promise a perfect result because it's football. We are a young side, but we’ll definitely go for it. I just can invite everyone to be a believer because it feels much better than just to be a moaner or doubter, but if you choose to moan or doubt, no problem, we go for it anyway.”