Leeds United: Monk promises swift reaction after opening day setback

Garry Monk at Loftus Road.
Garry Monk at Loftus Road.
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Garry Monk insisted there was no cause for alarm and promised a swift reaction from his players after Leeds United’s season began with a heavy defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

Monk endured a painful start to his tenure as Leeds head coach as QPR swept his team aside in a 3-0 loss at Loftus Road yesterday.

A fourth-minute goal from Nedum Onuoha, scored after a scramble from a corner, set the tone for a frustrating afternoon and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side wrapped up a convincing victory with a second-half penalty from Tjaronn Chery and an injury-time strike from Sebastian Polter.

Rangers were also denied twice by a post and in a repeat of scenes witnessed at QPR while Steve Evans was head coach last season, Monk’s players were berated by an away following of 3,200 after the final whistle.

The former Swansea City boss said he sympathised with the crowd’s annoyance but insisted one result was not a reason for recriminations.

“We’re disappointed with the result and it’s not how we wanted to start the season but let’s remember that it’s one game,” said Monk, who took charge as head coach at the start of June.

“There are lots of games left to fight for and I’m more than confident in this group – that they have the quality and character to make sure we get a reaction in the next game.

“In the first half we gave QPR the impetus and a little bit too much respect which allowed them to be on the front foot. We gave goals away with mistakes. It’s something that as a young group they’re going to have to learn from but they will. The luxury of this type of league is that you get more games coming soon.”

Leeds go to Fleetwood Town for a League Cup tie on Wednesday before hosting Birmingham City in their first home fixture on Saturday.

Asked if he understood the reaction of the away crowd to the result, Monk said: “Of course. When you lose a game you’re going to be frustrated.

“We went out there with the intention to give them the right result and the right start but I said it’s a long process. We’re not going to be judged or be defined by one game.

“We’ll be judged over a season and that’s how it should be but we don’t make excuses. One thing we can do is make sure they get a reaction.”

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Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen. 
(Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe)

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