GARRY Monk says Leeds United’s fan base will be more crucial than ever for the club’s promotion-chasing run-in, asking supporters to “crank up the noise” ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Brighton at Elland Road.
Leeds remain on course for their highest-ever finish since relegation from the Premier Division in 2004 with the Whites seeking a return to the Championship’s play-offs for the first time since 2006.
Monk’s men sit fourth in the table with just nine games of the regular season remaining, with United holding a five-point cushion back to seventh-placed Fulham.
Leeds have four home games left, starting with Saturday evening’s showdown with second-placed Brighton, who hold an 11-point gap over their hosts.
And Monk is calling on United’s fans to be more vociferous than ever ahead of a game for which Leeds had sold 28,700 tickets for by Thursday evening, including 1,500 for Brighton.
“What I have written in my programme notes this week is that it’s time to crank up the noise,” said Whites head coach Monk.
“The fans have been fantastic, there have been amazing atmospheres and I have spoken to people that have been here for many years that have seen the atmospheres at Elland Road and they say it’s been a long time since they have seen the types of atmospheres that we have had here.
“That’s great to know, it’s great confidence for the players and it’s great for the fans as well. That’s what we all want.
“But it’s time to crank it up. It’s time for everyone to be together.
“It’s us against everyone else and we need that mentality that we have in the team on the terraces as well and I am sure we are going to get that.”
“The fans have been fantastic, there have been amazing atmospheres and I have spoken to people that have been here for many years that have seen the atmospheres at Elland Road and they say it’s been a long time since they have seen the types of atmospheres that we have had here.Garry Monk
Brighton are only behind leaders Newcastle United on goal difference, with the Seagulls looking to complete a double over Leeds following a 2-0 success at The Amex in December – a game in which United’s Kalvin Phillips was sent off in the 23rd minute.
“They are obviously one of the best teams in the league,” said Monk.
“They have got a lot of experience, a lot of strength and it’s a club that has built that over a good few seasons now and you can see the benefit that they have had.
“They have been knocking on the door and they are probably that little bit closer this season.
“They are an extremely good team and they will pose a big threat against us.
“But I think we are doing fantastic and we look at it in the way of we are six games unbeaten, we have a lot of confidence from that, a really good spirit and determination and these players are fighting to improve all the time.
“Each point is crucial, there are a lot of teams fighting for various reasons.
“You are getting teams now that will come with no pressure because they are safe and there’s other teams like ourselves that are fighting for certain points that can mean something maybe at the end of the season.
“We will go into the game determined, looking forward to it and try and put our best football on the pitch.
“We know that when we can do that, we can beat any team in this league.”