Daily Mirror


Farke channels his inner Elvis as he talks fans’ dreams of promotion with Leeds

- BY DAVID ANDERSON @MirrorAnde­rson

HE’S not all shook up but Daniel Farke could not resist quoting Elvis Presley when asked about Leeds United’s promotion chances.

Leeds are the talk of the Championsh­ip heading into tonight’s Yorkshire derby with Rotherham, cutting the gap on top two Leicester and Ipswich after winning six of their last seven games.

Manager Farke dislikes such chatter and says he is sticking by famous lyrics from the King of Rock and Roll. “We’re on a good path but let’s not get carried away and speak about the Premier League,” said Farke.

“Our supporters are definitely allowed to dream and to think big. I want to help stabilise this club and, yes, bring success. But it’s more like what Elvis Presley says: ‘A little less conversati­on, a little more action’. This is my topic, so the principle is Elvis Presley.”

Farke has overseen huge changes at Elland Road following relegation from the Premier League last term: as many as 15 players have left and eight have come in.

The German has proved a shrewd operator in the transfer market: Joel Price is joint-top scorer with six goals this season, Joe Rodon has impressed on loan from Tottenham, and midfielder Ethan Ampadu looks an absolute steal at £7million.

Farke has also given 17-year-old Archie Gray his head and the England Under-20 midfielder is the latest product from Leeds’ royal family, made famous by his grandfathe­r Frank and great uncle Eddie.

Leeds took just two points from their opening three games as Farke grappled with all the problems he inherited and he admits they were difficult days. “I know what it means to take over a club which has a bit of a hangover and there are a few question marks,” he said.

“I had game days in the beginning when I wasn’t able to fill the bench and on the training pitch we had just 14 or 15 players. Half the squad was thinking about a loan move. It was a hell of a task and it’s still a big task to bring stability to this big, emotional club. But my days are much more relaxed and smooth than they were in the summer.”

Farke, 47, knows what it takes to win promotion from the Championsh­ip. He twice won the title with Norwich City – in 2019 and 2021 – and says 26 wins should be enough to go up without the need for play-off drama. Leeds have won nine of their 16 Championsh­ip fixtures so far. “We need to win many more games to achieve what we want to achieve,” he said.

“If you want to finish in the play-offs, then you need 20 wins in the season and obviously also draws.

“If you want to be there with direct promotion, you need probably 26 wins and several draws.

“For me it’s just the last five or six games when you look on the table and think: ‘OK, it’s crunch time’.”

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