GARRY MONK is confident that there is a lot more to come from Leeds United – and is backing their incremental improvement to continue in the weeks and months ahead.
After a below-par first month of the season, which saw United placed in a disappointing 21st spot in the Championship ahead of the start of the first international break at the end of August, their progress had been pronounced ever since.
In the six games heading up to the latest international hiatus, Leeds claimed 12 points from a possible 18 and are currently joint fourth in the Championship form table, with only Brighton, Newcastle United and Norwich City having taken more points since September 10.
The net result in that Leeds find themselves up 10 places into 11th spot ahead of the resumption of business after the latest fortnight break.
Monk insists that the hard yards on the training ground at Thorp Arch have paid off, with his players now becoming ingratiated with his working methods. The ‘base camp’ work has seen Leeds work successfully on their team organisation and structure, with the effects of that there to be seen over the past month.
Monk acknowledges now is the time to fine-tune things in an attacking sense after building a firm foundation.
The United head coach said: “There’s a lot more to come, with the attitude towards the work.
“It will take time and repetitions, belief and confidence and trusting themselves even more.
“The one thing is that over the past seven games, we have shown how competitive we can be and we understand we can compete every game.
“Now the next step is to improve what we are about with our football and keep taking that step forward.
“The competitiveness is the minimum requirement. Now we have got that, we have the maintain that and improve the rest.
“All that we have done is given ourselves a platform and the challenge is to improve on that.
“I feel good about the players with the way they are approaching training and they want to try and produce more and get better and hopefully we get to see that on the pitch.
“From day one, we have tried to make training really competitive, intense and sharp and the players have grown as time has gone by.
“I know, as a manager starting out with a new team and group, that these things take time to grow and build.
“Each day, they have come out onto the pitch and they have shown a real commitment and attitude to that work and it has grown as time has gone on and they are in a really good way at the minute and are really competitive and making it very difficult for teams.”
Given the restructuring that went on in the close season, Monk has stressed that his side were always likely to be a work in progress in the opening weeks of the campaign.
The core work over the past three months has served Leeds well, judging by their form and evolution over the past month and while Monk admits that while ‘bumps in the road’ will arrive along the way, he is confident that his side possess the character, organisation and structure to bounce back relatively quickly.
He added:; “It was always going to take time, naturally. Even now, we have shown big improvements, but there should be even more. That will take time and we have to stick with it.
“We have to accept the dips along the way and work through and correct them and come out the other side.
“We have shown already that when we have had a dip, we have shown a good reaction and we keep trying to improve.
“The important thing for us is that when we suffer a negative, we can bounce back and reach a better level. That belief is good for me, but more for the players.”