HEAD coach GARRY Monk has hailed the prospect of another bumper crowd at Elland Road tonight as “extra motivation” to beat “another giant of this league” in Aston Villa.
Two weeks after a sell out crowd witnessed Leeds do battle with Championship leaders Newcastle United, another packed attendance is in store for this evening’s Championship clash with Villa – another game screened live on Sky Sports (kick-off 5.30pm).
Leeds had sold just over 32,000 tickets for the clash as of yesterday morning with the official sell out attendance and capacity crowd against Newcastle given as 36,002.
Villa have sold out their full away allocation of 2,773 for tonight’s showdown – but the Whites will again have well in excess of 30,000 which is proving music to the ears of Monk and his players.
“Our support is amazing, home and away,” said Monk.
“We are starting to get bigger crowds at home which is good, it’s good for the players and it gives them added motivation.
“We always take a massive amount of fans away and it just shows the size of the club and the passion the guys have for the club.”
Leeds approach this evening’s showdown sat in the division’s play-offs in fifth but 11th-placed Villa are thriving under recently appointed boss Steve Bruce.
The Midlanders, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, endured a poor start to the season under Roberto Di Matteo but are now
unbeaten in seven games, four of which have resulted in victory.
“They are in a fantastic run and it’s going to be a difficult game,” said Monk.
“Steve has gone in there and has got them motivated and moving up the league, as you would expect with Aston Villa - another giant of a club in this league.
“You’d expect them come the end of the season to be pushing around those promotion places so it’s a difficult task.
“But we are expecting another big crowd for us and we want to put on a good performance and stay focussed on ourselves.
“We keep trying to deliver the right performance, the right consistency, the right level.
“We realise it’s a big game and we want to go into it to win the three points.
“We understand it’s going to be difficult but if we can deliver the type of performances that we have been delivering then we will always be in with that chance of fighting for the right result.”
Despite sitting 11th in the table, Vila are actually rated fourth favourites to win the division behind leaders Newcastle United - who are long odds on - followed by second-placed Brighton and third-placed Reading.
Monk added: “As a club just coming out of the Premier League, you’d expect yourself to be pushing for promotion.
“That should be the expectation and I imagine that is the expectation of Aston Villa.
“There’s Steve Bruce going in there as well who is a very experienced manager - at the top level and in this league as well so I am sure they will be expecting themselves to be in the promotion hunt.
“In terms of where that will be, that will be decided at the end.
“We respect them, we have to respect their strengths and they are in really good form but as I always say we focus on ourselves and we need to get our performance right and to get our levels right.”