Leeds United boss Daniel Farke on Millwall show, 'team of the moment' and 'sad' injury news

CLINICAL DISPLAY - Georginio Rutter had one of Leeds United's three shots on target at Millwall and all three hit the net in a 3-0 victory. Pic: Getty
CLINICAL DISPLAY - Georginio Rutter had one of Leeds United's three shots on target at Millwall and all three hit the net in a 3-0 victory. Pic: Getty

Leeds stood up to the physical battle and let their quality show when the chance arose, scoring from each of their three shots on target at The Den. Farke’s side had to weather an immediate storm, Millwall piling on pressure from kick-off, but took the lead on 15 minutes through a counter attack finished off by Joel Piroe.

The second goal arrived on the counter, too, late in the second half and it was Piroe again in the right place to find the net at the back post. And the third came four minutes later, Georginio Rutter hitting the top corner at the end of yet another quick break into space.

Farke was delighted with the result, the performance and how Leeds coped with the nature of the occasion before showing their attacking quality.

“I'm proud of my guys today,” he said.

"I've played here several times, it's a tough place to go. You have to be on it. We as a club have waited more than a decade to be here with three points. You have to be spot on, you have to show some steel and resilience. You can't avoid all the long balls and throw ins, corners, defending Cooper at 3m tall. You have to dig in and give your life, be cool and wait for moments when you can let your quality shine. And we did that with amazing team goals. The first goal could go straight into a book and you could sell it, it's so wonderful.”

Although there were individual contributions that Farke was invited to comment on, he was keen to praise the collective effort, particularly in defending Millwall’s pressure.

"The whole team – it was important that our offensive players did their job, put pressure on the build up and then came back,” he said.

"The midfield was crucial. [Joe] Rodon had to be there with many clearances, even with a cut under his eyebrow he was willing to go. He showed a warrior mentality, which is what you need at such a tough place.

"I’m always happy when my offensive players are there with assists. It's always good for the confidence of my offensive players when they're there to score. I got the feeling Joel [Piroe] was a bit too deep last time in his positioning. Today we played with a bit more flexibility. From day to day it's improving [between Rutter and Piroe], you can sense this on the training pitch.”

Farke, who joined his players for celebrations in front of a jubilant away end, has now led them to a four-game unbeaten run but says they must quickly focus on the next challenge – Hull City away in midweek.

“The momentum in this league can change unbelievably quickly,” he said

"It's such a tough place but it already feels a bit like we're the team of the moment, back-to-back clean sheets. But I'm not over the moon. This league is relentless. We can't allow to celebrate too much but for the mood and confidence the three points are priceless.”

The only negative for Farke on an almost-perfect day out at a traditionally difficult venue for Leeds was the injury absence of Djed Spence, who is expected to miss several weeks of action.

"It’s sad news with Spence because Djed has done his lateral [knee] ligament, he will be out for several weeks. It seems like no surgery is needed. We'll have to wait to give you a time frame.”