Garry Monk praised Leeds United’s “bravery and courage” and called on his side to show the same qualities in Saturday’s Championship clash with Birmingham City after a tense League Cup win at Fleetwood Town earned them up a second-round meeting with Luton Town.
Leeds came through a dramatic clash with Uwe Rosler’s Fleetwood by winning a penalty shoot-out 5-4 and giving Monk his first competitive victory as United’s head coach.
The 37-year-old was forced to front up to a poor performance at Queens Park Rangers on Sunday and his side found themselves under more pressure last night after Fleetwood opened the scoring on 13 minutes.
But a 90th-minute equaliser from substitute Marcus Antonsson edged the game into extra-time and after Chris Wood and Ashley Hunter traded goals in the additional half-hour, goalkeeper Rob Green saved Fleetwood’s fifth penalty to set up a second-round tie at Luton in the week beginning August 21.
Monk said: "It's not a relief (for me). I'm just very happy for the players. I'm happy for the players more than myself.
"I know football very well and it's for the players because I think it was important that we got some confidence after Sunday and that disappointment.
"We got the reaction that we wanted and I thought I saw a team there with real courage and a real belief in difficult circumstances.
"We talked about it afterwards in the changing room. We have to use this type of performance and take it to the league.
“There will still be ups and downs in the league, no doubt, but it's those types of performances and that bravery and courage I'm looking for.”