Leeds United boss Daniel Farke speaks of players' disappointment at draw against 10-man Huddersfield Town

Leeds United boss Daniel Farke admitted his side had not been at their best, but thought they should still have continued their winning run against a physical Huddersfield Town side reduced to 10 men just before half-time.
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The Whites saw their winning league run end at nine matches when they had to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw at the John Smith’s Stadium and were unable to make the most of their extra man, although they did hit back after trailing 1-0 at the break.

Despite having almost 80 per cent of the possession United did not create as many clear chances as they often do with their finishing not sharp and Town defending well, but they did hit the post when Crysencio Summerville was unlucky not to grab a winner late on.

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They also had to contend with some heavy tackles that made it no surprise that the hosts had Jonathan Hogg sent-off. Previously there could have been at least one other red card as inexperienced referee Andrew Kitchen was less than protective of the skilful players and found it difficult to keep a lid on things.

Patrick Bamford celebrates his goal for Leeds United at Huddersfield Town.Patrick Bamford celebrates his goal for Leeds United at Huddersfield Town.
Patrick Bamford celebrates his goal for Leeds United at Huddersfield Town.

“It’s disappointing in the way we have to accept we're not there with a 10th win in a row,” said manager Farke.

“To speak about a disappointing day shows our ambition. Obviously we wanted to win this game. We had a massive chance with Glen Kamara or Cree Summerville, normally it must be 1-0, we know if we go in the lead it's difficult to win points against us.

"They played with a knife between their teeth, credit to them, you can see they're a side that fights against relegation, tactical fouls, many yellow cards, lots of injury time. More or less every goal kick lasted two minutes. If the ball is just 18 minutes in play it's also difficult to create chances.

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"I was not happy with the yellow-red card because I thought they would park the bus even a bit more. They did brilliantly you have to say. We found the situation to equalise, but quick turnaround for us, the pitch was difficult and always stop and go, I think we created situations but you have to use them to score the second.

"We have to accept we were not at our best as a group today. If you don't win you have to make sure you don't lose it. When you know how the Championship is, sometimes you have to say we take the point and that could prove pretty valuable at the end of the season

“I need to lift the mood a bit because it was really quiet in the dressing room and it looked a bit like a loss.

“It's a sign of how far we've come. It felt like we'd lost the game 5-0, but I like this attitude and ambition. I didn't expect 22 wins in a row, it's never that easy. We're not so much used to it, we didn't have too many draws but it's important to value that one point is sometimes a good point.

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"Don't underestimate that you stay unbeaten and came back from a losing position. I'm not dancing on the table, that's for sure, I would not even had we won it, my players maybe, but we take this one point.”

Farke was seen having many conversations with the fourth official, but declined to criticise the referee.

He added: “I don't like to complain too much about referees or ask for more yellows or reds.

“It's what you'd expect a bit from a side fighting for their lives. As a neutral observer you might say it would be nice to protect the offensive players a bit and keep the game more fluid. There were one or two situations I would have wished for different scenario.”

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Huddersfield aimed to knock Leeds out of their stride early on and got on the front foot initially, although it was the visitors who had the first big chance of the match after some fantastic passing opened up Town and saw Archie Gray and Willy Gnonto combine to set up Glen Kamara eight yards out. The midfielder perhaps showed why he is yet to score for Leeds as he opted to pass instead of shoot and Summerville’s subsequent effort was blocked at close range by keeper Lee Nicholls

Huddersfield forced United keeper Illan Meslier into two good saves as Jack Rudoni fired in a well struck 25-yard shot then his near post flick from a corner was an indication that set pieces were going to be a problem for Farke’s men.

The thrilling start faded into a stop-start contest as fouls and injuries ruined the flow. From one such foul, an awful lunging tackle by Hogg on Summerville led to the Leeds player having treatment and as he was sent sprawling he fell on Town’s Yuta Nakayama who had to be taken off injured.

Ironically his replacement Michal Helik opened the scoring just before half-time, netting from the rebound after Meslier had saved Danny Ward’s header from a Sorba Thomas free-kick.

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Into added time Town went down to 10 men as Hogg caught Junior Firpo with a swinging arm after looking at the player before doing it.

He could have had a red just for this, but the referee produced a yellow again. The result was the same as he was sent-off.

Leeds looked to immediately take advantage, but Georginio Rutter’s shot went narrowly wide.

It took the Whites some time to get going in the second half, but Farke’s substitutions livened things up, particularly down the right where Dan James and Connor Roberts came on.

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They combined to set up the equaliser with Roberts’ terrific low cross met by Patrick Bamford to score his seventh goal of the season from close range.

Roberts almost repeated the trick soon after.

Leeds went for the winner, but Rutter missed a great chance with a header from a corner.

Matty Pearson, who could count himself fortunate to still be on the pitch after two dangerous challenges in the first half, sent a header wide for Town as they still remained dangerous from any set piece.

But the Whites came so close to winning it late on when Summerville was found in space in the box and saw his curling shot hit the post.

(Helik 45)

(Bamford 67)

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Sky Bet Championship

Attendance: 22,351

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Huddersfield: Nicholls; Spencer (Headley 72), Pearson, Lees, Nakayama (Helik 26); Thomas, Hogg (sent-off 45+4), Kasumu, Burgzorg (Koroma 72); Rudoni, Ward (Matos 45).

Leeds: Meslier; Gray (Roberts 62), Rodon, Ampadu, Firpo (Anthony 86); Gruev, Kamara (Piroe 62); Gnonto (James 62), Rutter, Summerville; Bamford.

Referee: Andrew Kitchen