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Farke on Gruev's absence, Joseph's impact and Coventry

Leeds United manager Daniel Farke has been speaking to the media before Saturday's Championship game against Coventry City on Saturday (15:00 BST):

  • Ilia Gruev (ankle) may be fit to return but Jamie Shackleton (adductor) will be missing for two weeks. Otherwise, it will be the same squad available that faced Hull City on Monday. Wilfried Gnonto, Connor Roberts, Pascal Struijk and Stuart Dallas remain sidelined.

  • On how close the call is to start striker Mateo Joseph ahead of Patrick Bamford: "It's important we're not driven by emotions and put too much weight on a 20-year-old's shoulders. He has affected games so far and it's good to have this player. It's also important to have experienced players on the pitch like Patrick, who works hard to close defenders down and create space."

  • On what Leeds miss without Gruev and what 17-year-old midfielder Charlie Crew brings to the squad: "Ilia is important for our rhythm, sometimes to calm the game down or sweep it up. He's precise and great with his passing. He's tidy on the ball and wants to have it under pressure. As for Charlie, he plays in a similar role, perhaps a bit more offensive. It's not a gift why he has been involved. We see him as a high-potential young player but there is still a long way to go."

  • What sort of game does Farke expect against Coventry, who are aiming to reach the play-offs? He said: "If you want to be successful against a really good side you have to show compactness. If you lose your nerve and open up and feel you have to overrun them in the first five minutes, it never works. It's not a do or die game like a cup competition in which you have to win."

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[BBC]