Russell Martin reached out to Daniel Farke and Leeds United players with post-match Wembley message

-Credit: (Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

A magnanimous Russell Martin tried to console Leeds United’s staff and players after denying them their Premier League dream at Wembley on Sunday. The Southampton manager embraced his former boss Daniel Farke immediately after the full-time whistle, but would be seen sharing words with Daniel James, Liam Cooper and Karl Darlow as his side celebrated too.

Martin has masterminded the treble over Leeds, a team who have only been beaten 10 times all season. While he was delighted with the outcome on Sunday, he knows too keenly how horrible it is for the losing side.

Asked what he had said to the Leeds contingent, he said: “No, nothing, I'm just sorry, I'm sorry there has to be a loser at Wembley. I hate that. I genuinely am [sorry] because Wembley is amazing if you win. I've been here as a winner and a loser and, yes, I'm sorry to them. Congratulations on a brilliant season because they have had an amazing season.”

READ MORE: Leeds United players' parting signal to Daniel Farke was clear as they left Wembley

Martin will now prepare for a first season in the Premier League as a manger. He will pit his wits against the best in the business, but insists the level in this year’s Championship was just as high.

“I pitted my wits against some amazing coaches this season,” he said. “The quality of the Championship’s been incredible, really, really incredible.

“The fact Leeds were here today with 90 points, we finished fourth with 87 points tells you how good the other two were. Kieran [McKenna] and Enzo [Maresca] have been linked with every job in the country right now, both of them.

“It shows you the quality of the Championship this season, but yes, to go up against the best in the world, players, managers, stadiums, it's going to be amazing. So I need to stay in the job long enough to enjoy them all.”