Garry Monk refused to be downhearted and pointed the finger at wasteful finishing after being sent to the stands as Leeds United’s winning run ended in a 1-0 defeat to Bristol City.
United’s head coach was ordered from his dug-out by referee Keith Stroud as frustration boiled over in the closing stages of last night’s Championship game at Ashton Gate.
Monk was annoyed by Stroud’s performance and aggrieved that the official failed to blow for a foul on Pablo Hernandez in the build-up to Marlon Pack’s 60th-minute winner.
The Leeds boss could face punishment from the Football Association but he said his dismissal was “not a big problem” and urged his side to retain their confidence after a competitive display in Bristol.
United went into the match on the back of a four-match winning streak and Monk said: “I’m frustrated with the result but I can’t complain too much with the performance.
“It warranted a lot more than we got, at least a point, and we didn’t look under threat against a side who’ve scored a lot of goals. We had the best chances in the game but we didn’t make the right decisions in the final third.
“We had clear-cut chances that we needed to be more clinical with but overall it was very good. I think they come off happy to have won. They’d have been happy with a point apiece.”
Pack beat goalkeeper Rob Green after City robbed the ball from Hernandez and broke quickly from halfway.
Monk said: “I felt it was a foul. Those fouls were given all night and then it wasn’t. That was a bit bizarre. But after that we went on the front foot again without having that killer touch.”
Monk’s dismissal came as the match approached injury-time and with tempers increasingly frayed.
Asked why Stroud had sent him to the stands, Monk said: “I really don’t know.
“Refs make their decisions, you’d have to ask him. It’s not really a big problem.”
Leeds lost defender Pontus Jansson to a hamstring strain at half-time but Monk said the Swede’s withdrawal was “precautionary”.
Captain Liam Bridcutt, however, was sent for a scan in London yesterday after again failing to make United’s 18-man squad with a foot injury. Leeds expect to receive the results today.
Monk said: “We just have to check that there isn’t something more underlying because he should have been back by now. We’re not sure why it hasn’t healed properly.”