'No chance' - Daniel Farke reveals private Leeds United thoughts after Leicester City title win

Daniel Farke, Manager of Leeds United
Daniel Farke, manager of Leeds United -Credit:Daniel Farke, Manager of Leeds United

Daniel Farke has revealed he privately thought Leeds United had "no chance" of winning promotion back to the Premier League when the season had just got underway.

Both Leicester City and Leeds were relegated from the top-flight, and both had their sights on a swift bounce back. That has gone swimmingly for one of them, as Enzo Maresca's men celebrated their return as Championship champions on Monday night, but not for the other at this stage.

With one match remaining, the Whites are three points short of surprise challengers Ipswich Town in second place. That means Kieran McKenna's men must lose to all but relegated Huddersfield Town for Farke's side to stand any chance of automatic promotion, so it appears likely they must contest the dreaded play-offs with Southampton, Norwich City and West Brom.

READ MORE: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall reveals Leicester City transfer stance amid FFP issues

READ MORE: Enzo Maresca linked with surprise exit after leading Leicester City to Championship title

"I am not depressed. I am positive and optimistic and excited about what lies ahead and that's Saturday," the Leeds boss said on Thursday afternoon. "We go for it. If it does not work in the top two, we were chasing all season virtually. We were never in control.

"[I am] far away from depression. Great we are still after 45 games with the chance to get into the top two. I want to surprise everyone on the final day and if not then we have the play-offs."

He then made his early-season admission, stating: "I would have said no chance of promotion, privately, in September.

Putting this down to owning a youthful squad - though one he would not trade for the world - the German added: "We did not buy success. I know it's more likely when you have experience. You know why Bayern is in the semis. They are experienced. Same with Real Madrid. They know you need experience.

"We are one of the youngest sides in the whole league. My starting midfield at QPR, [Ilia] Gruev is 23, first season here and Archie [Gray], 18, first season. I know we are not the finished product and make mistakes or get nervous and over-excited.

"[I am] struggling to criticise my players. I would not swap Archie with anyone in this league. More potential than any player in this league in this position. Kieran [McKenna] has done outstanding work.

"They play with [Sam] Morsy and [Massimo] Luongo, 34, and lads in these positions before. They know tactical fouls. Morsy with 14 yellows. You need this experience.

"I would have said in September how hard it would have been because of our average age. I don't want to buy experience for one season and then we go back down. We want to do it sustainably. If that means being patient, then so be it. I don't have it all that players have let me down. We still have a chance."