Leeds United boss Daniel Farke explains thinking on selection decisions for Shrewsbury Town cup game

Daniel Farke was pleased with his team's second half performance as they came from behind again to give him his first win as Leeds United boss.
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League One Shrewsbury Town led at half-time only for two goals in six minutes early in the second period to turn the first round tie on its head with Joe Gelhardt scoring his first for the Whites for 17 months and Pascal Struijk hitting what proved the winner.

It was ultimately comfortable and United were deserving winners with a number of shots whizzing just wide or over and several good chances being squandered.

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Once again they played some decent passing football despite fielding a young side, but also once more they paid for some sloppy defending to concede from Shrewsbury's first effort on goal.

Pascal Struijk scored the winning goal for Leeds United against Shrewsbury Town.Pascal Struijk scored the winning goal for Leeds United against Shrewsbury Town.
Pascal Struijk scored the winning goal for Leeds United against Shrewsbury Town.

"In the first half we didn't deserve to be (behind) because it was a bit unlucky - a deflected strike, more or less their only strike and we had a few chances - but I didn't like our first-half performance that much," said Farke.

"We moved the ball a bit too slowly and we weren't really disciplined in our positioning, our structure was not good in order to open them up.

"We were not there with high intensity against the ball.

"We made a few changes in personnel terms and spoke about a few changes in our tactical position in the second half, added a few more percent in terms of awareness and aggressiveness and sharpness with the ball.

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"We were much tidier on the ball in the second half and much better, it was a really good performance.

"It was a bit like the story from the last game, 81 per cent possession, 12-1 shots in the second half, they didn't have a corner, we didn't allow them to have one chance."

On his selection decisions for the game Farke explained that Willy Gnonto did not play as he was "unavailable, not injured".

Others had been left out with Saturday's return to league action at Birmingham in mind.

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He added: "I had to make some big decisions because I got the feeling we needed to rest a few more players but the group was pretty tight.

"Ethan (Ampadu), I would have preferred to leave him out for a few minutes but we have a few problems in the centre-half position at the moment.

"I got the feeling our positioning in midfield in the first half wasn't perfect so we needed him back in the position where he shone a lot in the last game.

"(Half-time substitute) Sam Byram had a fantastic game in the second half and I was pretty pleased with his performance but it's still fine margins to keep his workload right because he had problems with injuries and a shorter pre-season.

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"We got the feeling he couldn't play three 90 minutes within a week.

"It was good to have another 45 minutes under his belt and also that we didn't need him to play 90 minutes. I need him fit and ready for the weekend.

"It's a bit tricky due to our situation but the group is not overly big and if you have to play three games within six days, you have to find some pragmatic solutions.

"But we are through to the next round and hopefully we'll have a strong starting line-up at the weekend."

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The Whites have been drawn away to Salford City in the second round with the tie to be played in the week commencing August 28.

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For the first round match the Whites played some neat football, but moved the ball too slowly and only threatened with shots from outside the box.

Leo Hjelde, Archie Gray, Dan James, Luke Ayling and Gelhardt all put efforts off target while James' header was easily saved and the lively Ian Poveda's shot was well held by keeper Marko Marosi.

Shrewsbury stunned the 35,129 crowd with a bolt from the blue in the 28th minute as Taylor Perry was afforded too much time and space and his shot deflected into the net via a deflection off Hjelde and went in off the post.

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They managed two more efforts in the next seven minutes in their best spell in the game, but were never in it after the break.

Gelhardt managed two efforts from inside the box in the first three minutes of the second period and United were level when Poveda's strong shot was parried by Narosi straight to Gelhardt who may not have known much about the way he put the ball in the net as it came straight at him.

A second goal soon followed as James' corner was flicked on and Struijk shot home from close range at the back post.

Poveda came within inches of adding to the lead with a shot just wide after he had been cleverly set up by Gelhardt.

James' angled shot was then deflected just wide.

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There was little sign of a Shrewsbury comeback as Ampadu and Gray controlled the game from midfield and it was only a surprise that Leeds did not add to their tally with James and substitute Luis Sinisterra put through only to shoot wide with just the keeper to beat.

(Gelhardt 52, Struijk 58)

Shrewsbury Town 1

(Perry 28)

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Carabao Cup, round one

Attendance: 35,129

Leeds: Darlow; Ayling, Cresswell, Ampadu, Hjelde (Byram 45); Gyabi (Struijk 45), Shackleton; Poveda (Sinisterra 83), Gray, James (Drameh 90+2); Gelhardt (Bate 90+5).

Shrewsbury: Marosi; Winchester (Sabowale 71), Feeney (Sraha 71), Flanagan, Anderson, Benning; Perry, Kenneh; Hermes (Shipley 55), Bowman (Udah 59), Bayliss (Watts 71).

Referee: Seb Stocksbridge.