Garry Monk tipped Bristol City to be play-off contenders this season as he warned Leeds United that another improved performance would be needed to keep their winning run intact at Ashton Gate tonight.
Leeds will attempt to enhance their own position in the Championship table by registering a fifth successive victory over a side who Monk said were “fancied to do very well in the league” and who climbed to 10th after routing Fulham 4-0 on Saturday.
City’s impressive result at Craven Cottage came as United secured their longest sequence of wins since 2010 with a 1-0 defeat to Ipswich Town, helped by their most convincing performance under Monk as head coach.
Monk said tonight’s meeting with City, whose prolific striker Tammy Abraham moved onto 10 goals at the weekend, would require “even more” than the display against Ipswich but insisted his players’ improvement in the past few weeks and their dominance of Mick McCarthy’s team should inspire confidence among them.
“It’s an extremely hard game,” Monk said. “They’re in good form themselves and we’ll have to put on as good a performance or even more against them.
“They’re fancied to do very well in the league this season and to be in and around the play-offs with the backing they’ve got and everything that’s in their squad. It’s going to be difficult for us but what we’ve been doing all along is focusing on ourselves. The more we do that the better we seem to get.
“Of course we respect the opposition but when we focus on ourselves and do that to a good level, you see the type of performances we can get.
“We’re taking steps forward, that’s for sure. Improvements are there when you look at the first game of the season all the way up to now. I said I had a plan I would work to and we know we’re not there yet but if we can keep growing in confidence then we’re going to get stronger and get very competitive. We’re getting there.”
Leeds last won five games back-to-back during the same run in 2010 which brought four victories in a row under Grayson.
Monk said: “It’s been a long time since the club had this type of run. Keeping it going is the challenge. You need to change your mentality and understand what it takes to keep a run going and we work very hard on that.
“There’s always the worry that if you lose concentration you could suffer a negative result but our attitude and our focus has been excellent. We understand there’ll come a point where we suffer a disappointment but we’re going to fight for the positives and keep this going.”
Leeds are continuing to monitor the fitness of midfielder Liam Bridcutt and Ronaldo Vieira after the pair missed Saturday’s win over Ipswich Town.
Right-back Gaetano Berardi stepped up his comeback from a hamstring strain by featuring for Leeds’ Under-23s in a game against Bristol City at Elland Road last night.
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