Birmingham City boss Garry Monk makes Leeds United promise ahead of Sheffield United showdown

Birmingham City boss Garry Monk.Birmingham City boss Garry Monk.
Birmingham City boss Garry Monk.
Garry Monk promised to try and shake up the Championship’s promotion race again with a victory over Sheffield United next week after damaging Leeds United’s prospects of a top-two finish.

The former Leeds manager oversaw a 1-0 win for Birmingham City at St Andrews to knock his former club down into third place but said he would look to register the same result when Sheffield United visit the same ground on Wednesday night.

The Blades are back in second place tonight after a 1-0 victory at Preston North End, the third time the final automatic spot in the Championship has changed hands in the space of three weeks.

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Norwich City are moving towards the title and sit seven points clear but Birmingham boss Monk said further twists were inevitable in a league where numerous issues are still to be decided.

Leeds visit Preston next, travelling to Deepdale on Tuesday night, and have the chance to move back into second place before Sheffield United head to Birmingham the following evening.

Monk said: “For me it's between the three. Norwich won today and have a bit more of a cushion but this year the league's much tougher to call with everything.

“Last year Wolves were the stand-out team. They looked like a Premier League team playing in the Championship. This season Sheffield United, Leeds and Norwich have been the best teams.

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"I said before the game that Leeds need to be in the Premier League and should be in the Premier League. They've got every chance to do it.

“There's a lot of football to be played and we’ve got Sheffield United on Wednesday night. Our aim is to win that game, that's what we have to do. There are a lot of variables to go.”

Birmingham succeeded in keeping Pablo Hernandez quiet and preventing United’s playmaker from dictating at St Andrews.

United succumbed to a first-half goal from Che Adams and were unable to respond despite controlling 73 per cent of possession.

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Monk, who signed Hernandez during his year in charge of Leeds, said: “Pablo can unlock a lot of defences. We managed to squeeze him out of his normal positions and make him go deeper.

“He can still hurt you from those positions but it's more manageable when you have him there. You'd much rather he's there than in between the lines and picking passes.”