By Joe Roberts

1st Oct, 2023 | 6:10pm

Phil Hay moots one-on-one Daniel Farke rage at Leeds United players after what he saw at HT v Southampton

Daniel Farke was “softer” on his Leeds United team at halftime of their 3-1 defeat to Southampton, according to Phil Hay.

Writing for The Athletic (1 October), the journalist shared that Farke’s response at the break was calmer than his reaction to the Whites’ half-time against Ipswich Town after they conceded a cheap goal late into stoppage time.

Leeds broke their six-game unbeaten run in the Championship at St Mary’s, seeing the Whites fall to ninth in the table.

Hay wrote: “When, at the start of the second half, Farke’s players began re-emerging from the tunnel, they appeared in piecemeal fashion, almost as if individual [telling-offs] had been dished out and the team released one by one. Farke was in hairdryer mode after Leeds conceded late and softly in the first half away to Ipswich Town in August and that was a minor transgression by comparison. But his tone at St Mary’s was softer.

“‘In 99 per cent of all cases as a manager, when you’re on such a good run, four clean sheets in a row, and you go back at half-time 3-0 down, I would have thrown bottles and killed someone,’ [Farke] said. ‘Today it was more like ‘no, let’s talk about how we turn the game.’ I spoke quite calmly.'”


While the defeat to Southampton is a tough pill for Farke to swallow, he will not be in crisis mode just yet.

After such a good run in the Championship and significantly improved performances since their defeat to Birmingham City early in the season, a loss to Southampton is no calamity. The Saints have had a tough return to the second division under Russell Martin, but the quality is in the squad and many predicted a resurgence in form.

Hay’s insight reveals a lot about Farke as a manager, and Leeds’ much-improved second-half performance suggests the German’s approach to the halftime team talk was for the best. Leeds looked a different side in the second half and proved much more of a threat to the Saints. Per SofaScore, the Whites held more possession (53%) and had more shots (15) than their opponent, but showed their best in the second 45.

The 3-0 deficit proved too steep a hill to climb for the Whites, however, but Pascal Struijk’s goal gave them a lifeline that ultimately led to nothing. Farke’s next big test will be in midweek against Queens Park Rangers (4 October), which could prove a litmus test to determine if the St Mary’s performance was a lapse in form or a cause for concern.

In other Leeds United news, a Whites ace has been slammed after being accused of not being “involved enough”.