'I think for Sheffield Wednesday it will be difficult' - Gjanni Alioski on Leeds United's Yorkshire derby and Garry Monk
Sheffield Wednesday will be acutely aware of the kind of afternoon they’re in for on Saturday when Gjanni Alioski and his Leeds United team-mates arrive at Hillsborough.
The North Macedonian says the difficulty of a game against the Whites is not something that will have escaped their Yorkshire neighbours. Unbeaten in three, a point behind Leeds in third position, Wednesday have started the season impressively after a summer of change, under caretaker manager Lee Bullen and September appointee, former Leeds manager Garry Monk.
Yet Alioski believes the identity of the Owls’ visitors will be more relevant than the record Bullen and Monk have put together.
“I think Sheffield know what it will be like and it will not be easy for them,” said Alioski.
“If we play like this [against Preston], how we play always with this high level, it’s only if we score the first two chances, then I think for Sheffield it will be difficult.
“We know they have had a good start but that’s not it all, so also Sheffield need to know who is Leeds United.”
Alioski arrived at Elland Road a little over a month after Monk’s departure in 2017. The 27-year-old has little time for discussion of the opposition manager and what he might bring to the table for Saturday’s early kick-off in South Yorkshire – it’s all about Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds.
“To be honest I don’t know who is Garry Monk and I don’t watch the coach and what he is doing and what start he has had,” he said.
“I know what a team we are, I know what a coach we have and how important he is for this team and he will prepare us like every game, so I will have a lot of information about Sheffield from my staff that I have here and it doesn’t matter what Garry Monk will prepare against us. I will have a lot of information from Bielsa so I will prepare good for this Yorkshire derby.”
The challenge for Leeds, who won this season’s previous Yorkshire derby 2-0 at Barnsley, is to maintain the level of performance that has taken them to second in the table, two points behind leaders West Brom, and make life easier for themselves by scoring more goals.
September’s game at Oakwell was the last time they found the net more than once in a game.
Alioski has called for a cutting edge to cap the ‘beautiful’ football they produce under Bielsa.
“Every action that we do, that we work on, is always together with the team and we showed this on the pitch.
“We create always beautiful actions but only what we need is to score.
“I think we have now played 11 games of beautiful football but it’s not only the football that we need to play.
“On the end is to score and we keep working on this and I hope the goals will come in the next games.
“I think all we need is a little bit of luck and we need more consideration because what can we work on?
“We create so many chances which is what we want to work but it’s just scoring.
“We need to keep on working like how we are and maybe have more luck and I hope this will come.”