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Daniel Farke interview: Leeds boss on promotion race, Archie Gray and Crysencio Summerville | Football News

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Seven wins on the bounce and right in the thick of the Championship promotion race, but Daniel Farke is as calm in his demeanour as ever.

He has been here before, albeit never with Leeds United.

“There are no replacements for wins and good performances, like we’ve shown in recent weeks,” he tells Sky Sports after winning Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for January.

“We know we’re in good shape, but this league can be relentless and we have to keep going.

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Farke won the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for January

“The lads are doing fantastically well, and they are a joy to work with on the training pitch and in games. We have a great unity, spirit and togetherness here. A good and healthy competition.

“My team is delivering top performances and I’m enjoying my team. Our points average would have us sitting comfortably in the top two, normally.

“We have the best points tally in the history of this club at this stage in this league, and I think we even have more points than the legendary title winners.”


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For context, Marcelo Bielsa’s side in 2019/20 had 10 fewer points at the same stage of the season we find ourselves now. In any other season they would be cruising away with the title.

Farke knows, however, that he has a significantly more talented squad than the last Leeds side that were in the Championship.

He has so much quality to pick from, but the jewel in the crown has been Crysencio Summerville – with 15 goals and eight assists to his name already.

At 22, the Dutch midfielder has knuckled down this season after a turbulent summer following relegation at the club, putting in a string of superb performances.

Farke has been impressed to say the least.

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Leeds boss Farke says there is no limit to the potential of star winger Summerville

“His performances and end product, but also his willingness to work for the team, have been outstanding,” says the Leeds boss.

“To deliver in this league you have to be on it more or less each and every day on the training pitch, and that is what he’s doing.

“It is no coincidence that he has provided so many decisive goals and assists.

“We don’t have to speak about his potential, because for Cry the sky is the limit. But to show consistency, that is quite crucial.”

Another standout player has been Archie Gray, both in terms of performance and his young age.

The teenager – who is the fourth member of his family to play for Leeds after his grandfather Frank, great uncle Eddie and father Andy – doesn’t turn 18 until next month.

But he has played in 30 of their 32 league games this season, and he also performed a seamless switch midway through from midfield to right-back, taking it calmly and adeptly in his stride.

Farke, who handed Gray his debut in August, believes all credit belongs to the player for making himself a fixture in the side.

“All the praise has to go to Archie,” he says. “You can work with a player, back the player and trust the player, but we can only bring him to the door and he has to make that step through it.

“How he’s done that, with the maturity and consistency he has, is outstanding for a 17-year-old.

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Teenager Gray has impressed for Leeds this season

“He’s still unbelievably grounded, humble and has good habits. That is so crucial that you don’t get over the moon after just one or two good games or a couple of good months.

“It is so far, so good. But quality is always defined over the long term, and he has to keep going in order to speak about a really quality season.

“I’ve worked throughout my career with fantastic young players. I don’t like to compare that much, but it is fantastic what he’s doing.

“When you are that young and getting that much praise it is not always easy to handle, but he’s so, so grounded and so open to developing and working hard each day.

“The experience in his family helps a lot, and I have to give many compliments to the Gray family. They are doing fantastically well with him.”

Farke, in fairness, is not doing too bad a job either.

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