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Leeds 0-1 Southampton: Daniel Farke defiant despite club's sixth defeat in six play-off attempts

Reaction and free match highlights from the Sky Bet Championship play-off final between Leeds United and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on Sunday; Leeds boss Daniel Farke insists his side will use defeat as motivation

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Daniel Farke explains his disappointment at his Leeds side's loss in the Championship play-off final against Southampton

Leeds manager Daniel Farke said Southampton were "just one per cent better" after they beat his side 1-0 in the Championship play-off final.

A first half strike from Adam Armstrong - his 24th of the season - went unanswered by the Whites, whose miserable play-off record continued as they failed to win promotion for the sixth time, Dan James' late volley against the bar the closest they came to forcing extra-time.

It meant Russell Martin's Saints made an immediate return to the Premier League, with Leeds forced to spend another season in the second tier.

Farke: We must use disappointment as motivation

Leeds boss Daniel Farke told Sky Sports:

"It's football. In a final, only one team can win so they were able to be effective today and defended really well during the whole game.

"We had more possession, more shots, more expected goals but they defended us really well. We have to congratulate them and wish them all the best in the Premier League next season.

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Highlights from Wembley as Southampton beat Leeds United 1-0 to return to the Premier League

"We started the game on the front foot and had many good situations in the final third but we weren't always precise with our passing.

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"At this level, when you switch off once you get punished. Armstrong was very effective. We tried everything in the second half with James' shot hitting the crossbar. Sometimes, it's not meant to be.

"It was a difficult day for us and a day of suffering but that's football. You have to get on with it, rest and use the disappointment as motivation for next season."

Leeds lost to Southampton
Image: Leeds lost to Southampton

Deeney questions Leeds mentality

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Troy Deeney says there were Leeds players who didn't want to take responsibility in key moments during their 1-0 defeat to Southampton

Troy Deeney on Sky Sports Football:

"There was a moment in the game today where one of their players who should have been in the box was the second-furthest man back - in the 97th minute when you're trying to win.

"Now that says to me that you don't want the pressure of the chance falling to you, or the responsibility. Because if you miss then people are going to question you.

"I just question where some of these were at. It felt like three or four of these players were playing this game for them. And it was them thinking: 'I'm probably not going to be here next year, so let me show how good I am'."

'Inexperience counted against us today'

Farke in his press conference:

"It's difficult to criticise our inexperience. When you finish with 90 points and you see the steps Crysencio Summerville, Georginio Rutter and Archie Gray have made, it's difficult to punish them for not being experienced.

"[But] I know when it comes down to such a final and to grind out a result, experience always helps. Armstrong was in a situation like this before and then he's not nervous and in a finishing situation, he's just focused and clinical.

"This is the reason why a team like Real Madrid, more or less, wins in the Champions League final.

"If it was easy just with 18, 19, 20 year-olds to win the league or finals, more or less every club would do this. This is our DNA; we have a pretty young side and we knew before that, in comparison to our competitors at the top end of the Championship, we have the most youthful side, the most inexperienced side. We still wanted to reach the promised land."

What next for Leeds?

Farke told Sky Sports:

"You learn a lot from setbacks, especially as we're a young side. We're developing our personality and there's no reason to dwell on this as the lads played a fantastic season.

"We collected 90 points and I was proud of us in many ways again today. We could have been more effective in the final third today but we won't dwell on this. We'll suffer for a few days and then we'll recover and go again.

"Today it hurts as we weren't the worst side in this final but they were more effective.

"This club and our supporters are second to none not only in the Championship but in this country. They have carried us and understand what today meant to the players.

"It's a disappointing day but I hope they stick together with us and are prepared to go again.

"It's a new feeling for me as in the last three years in this league, two times I've been promoted so today I was one step away from being promoted again. I have to deal with it but I'll go again.

"Today they were just one per cent better."

Leeds lost to Southampton
Image: Leeds lost to Southampton

Sixth defeat in six - Leeds' miserable play-off record

1986/87 - lost in Division Two (now Championship) final over two legs to Charlton Athletic. This was before the final was played as a one-off a Wembley.

2005/06 - lost in Championship final to Watford 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

2007/08 - lost in League One final to Doncaster at Wembley.

2008/09 - lost in League One semi-finals to Millwall.

2018/19 - lost in Championship semi-finals to Derby County.

2023/24 - lost in Championship final to Southampton at Wembley.

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