Leeds United have already let slip first tactical clue to Norwich City for play-off clash

Leeds United boss Daniel Farke is hopeful he can find big improvements in the week before Norwich City trip -Credit:Ed Sykes/Getty Images
Leeds United boss Daniel Farke is hopeful he can find big improvements in the week before Norwich City trip -Credit:Ed Sykes/Getty Images

Eight clear days of preparation were not enough for Leeds United to drastically improve their form on Saturday, yet Daniel Farke feels eight days before Norwich City will be different. The Whites were battered 4-0 by Queens Park Rangers and despite a clear week of focus and training, they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton, consigning them to the play-offs.

Farke is confident he can find the right levels of improvement from his players at Thorp Arch with a return to their traditional pre-match routine. The German said last week was unusual for staff and players because of the focus on attacking, gung-ho football that chased the win they needed over the Saints.

“The week [before Southampton] was beneficial, but, as I mentioned, it was a bit of a strange approach,” he said. “We went a bit away from our normal approach and especially once you have conceded a few goals, like in the games before, normally the step is to concentrate on sitting a bit back, being concentrated, not allowing chances, not allowing goals.

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“You want to return back to the clean sheet. This is what you normally do as a coach if you have conceded, in the last two games, seven goals against you.

“We completely went the other way around during this week and it was a bit difficult to say we could prepare them for the perfect approach.”

In what was a barely guarded nod to what David Wagner should expect Leeds to be working on ahead of Sunday’s clash, Farke made it clear shoring up his defence would be a priority this week. The former Canaries chief is hopeful a return to something like the home comforts of the previous nine months will rebuild confidence that has been starved in recent weeks.

“This time around we have two games where it's more or less a final,” he said. “It's not like you have to make sure you win this game in the first five minutes to impress a different opponent.

“It's also not like a draw or a tight result is not an option. The play-off games: you approach them in a different way and we have time to return back to our best behaviour, especially our best possible defensive behaviour.

“We can work a bit more on ourselves during the training week, more on our normal standards, our normal approaches and our normal habits. If you work a bit on your normal habits and your normal principles, this gives even a bit more confidence to the players.

“Hopefully, it's enough in order to have them back at their prime at Norwich, but it will be definitely beneficial to have this proper training week, yes.”