Leeds United 2 Aston Villa 0: Fans pushed us over the line for victory - Monk

Garry Monk on the touchline against Aston Villa. PIC: Simon Hulme
Garry Monk on the touchline against Aston Villa. PIC: Simon Hulme
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Garry Monk believes the relationship between the Leeds players and fans is starting to pay off on the pitch after a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa took them up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship.

Over 32,000 fans witnessed a sluggish opening first 45 minutes before second-half goals from Kemar Roofe and Chris Wood earned the Whites a fifth win in seven home matches.

And Monk thinks the feelgood factor around the club is one of the main reasons why his young Leeds outfit are enjoying success.

“I said all along they (the fans) play a vital role for us,” Monk said.

“An understanding has been built between the players, the fans and everyone at the club, which is crucial to what we are doing here.

“They have stuck with the team. They were disappointed with the performance in the first half, but they pushed us over the line.

“That support, the big crowds supporting our team is vitally important for the young players.”

Roofe produced the game’s first real moment of class in the 68th minute, heading in his first goal for Leeds on his 23rd appearance since arriving from Oxford in the summer.

The 23-year-old, having also hit the post in the midweek EFL Cup defeat at Liverpool, is starting to show why Leeds paid £3million for his services, according to Monk.

“It was important for him,” he said.

“It has been coming. He has been unlucky not to (score), but his performances in recent weeks have really helped him, and helped the team.

“He has deserved that, but he will tell you himself that the most important thing was the three points.”

Albert Adomah missed a glorious chance to open the scoring for Villa early in the second half, side-footing wide with just Rob Green to beat, while the goalkeeper also parried an Ashley Westwood half-volley.

Boss Steve Bruce, whose day got worse when he banged his head on the low ceiling heading to the post-match press conference, said: “Up until the first goal, we have had the best opportunities.

“In a game which was not enthralling in the first half, you have to take that chance. We have had two just after half-time and we could have taken that chance.

“Then we make a mistake, we have made a mistake and it has cost us the game. We chased the game after that and became too ragged.

“We huffed and puffed after that but didn’t really make a dent in Leeds, which was disappointing.”

The loss sees Bruce taste defeat for the first time in eight matches since replacing the sacked Roberto Di Matteo as Villa manager in October.

He added: “I have had a great start, but we were going to get beat. That is the Championship. There is still a long way to go.”