Ethan Ampadu Insists Leeds United Can Roll All The Way To The Premier League

LEEDS, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Ethan Ampadu of Leeds United during the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Leeds United and Norwich City at Elland Road on May 16, 2024 in Leeds, England.(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Ethan Ampadu Insists Leeds United Can Roll All The Way To The Premier League

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By Paul Jones

Ethan Ampadu never lost faith that Leeds United would make it back to the Premier League this season.

The Wales star played another key role in guiding Leeds to a powerful 4-0 victory over Norwich City on Thursday night at a pulsating Elland Road.

The result gave Leeds the same aggregate scoreline victory over the Canaries in the Championship play-off second leg and Ampadu and his teammates can now look forward to a Wembley showdown against either Southampton or West Bromwich Albion.

“Towards the end of the season, there was a lot of talk about how we were playing; how we weren’t on the front foot, how we weren’t aggressive, how we weren’t clinical,” said Ampadu.

“But we always had our belief that, on our day, when we are firing, we can be hard for anyone to play against.

“When the front four, front five, front six all play like that, they make the job for us defenders a lot easier.

“Sometimes we like to leave it late, but once you score early, you can settle nerves and bring them onto you a little bit, which gives you a bit more space and it worked out that we scored a couple more.

“Whoever we play against in the final, it’s going to be a very hard game. It’s a final to get to the Premier League and we’re happy that we’re there. To put a performance in like this, I think we can take momentum and confidence into it.

“The boys who played against Derby [in 2019] when it didn’t work out were telling us about the atmosphere and the crowd. They were second to none today. We love their support.

“We’re going to enjoy it for maybe the next couple of days and then prepare for the big one.”

Ampadu and his Leeds and Wales teammate Joe Rodon both kept Norwich muzzled at the back, while a third Wales regular, Connor Roberts, came off the substitutes’ bench.

Ilia Gruev, former Swansea City striker Joël Piroe and Georginio Rutter scored for Leeds before half-time and Crysencio Summerville added a fourth in the 68th minute for the team managed by Daniel Farke, who led Norwich to promotion in 2019 and 2021.

Leeds boss Daniel Farke said: “First of all I have to say congratulations to Norwich on a fantastic season. They were a strong opponent.

“We should have scored more goals, if I’m really honest. I’m happy with the clean sheet and it was important at Carrow Road to return to our normal defensive behaviour and we carried that into tonight.

“Norwich tried everything to try and change the running of the game. Many compliments to my young side. I was a bit concerned because the pressure was a bit on us after the first game.

“I don’t know what the average age of our team was tonight but the lads delivered in a perfect way for such a young side.

“This place is second to none when it really gets rocking. It is unbelievable the atmosphere.”

Norwich manager David Wagner admitted: “It was a poor performance from us. Everything you should not do, we have done.

“We were second best in the duels and it’s a very disappointing evening and end to the season.

“We knew we had to try and stay in the game, but we did the opposite of that, conceding three goals in the first half.

“It’s very quiet in the dressing room at the moment. I haven’t really spoken about the game because at the moment the disappointment is too big.

“It’s important to reflect now. Unfortunately the fairytale does not have a happy ending.”

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