Garry Monk said he was ready for a “big test” against Ipswich Town and admitted that expectation around Elland Road would be heightened tomorrow with Leeds United bidding to register a fourth straight win for the first time in more than six years.
Monk called on United’s players to “keep the roll going” and consolidate their recent improvement after a League Cup victory over Blackburn Rovers in midweek followed successive Championship wins and carried Leeds forward from a disappointing first month of the season.
United’s successes in the league came against Cardiff City and Blackburn, two teams who are in the division’s relegation zone, but Monk is preparing his side for a “different type of test” against an Ipswich side managed by the highly experienced Mick McCarthy. Leeds as a club have not pieced together a four-match winning run since an impressive sequence under former Simon Grayson while United were in League One in 2009-10.
Monk said: “When you’re winning games everyone expects you to keep the roll going and of course we want to do that. We’d love to keep this run going and that’s our fight and motivation.
“But we’re in for a big test – a different type of test to what we’ve had so far. Mick’s a very experienced manager and his team have a very clear idea of how they want to play. We have to be ready and I’ve already highlighted that with the players.
“We need an atmosphere that will really intimidate the opposition and make us push on. If we do that all together, you can see the success we’ve already had growing.”
The length of time since Grayson’s side strung four victories together back-to-back underlines the lack of consistency which has hampered United throughout their time in the Championship.
But Monk insisted he would not read anything into a fourth successive win tomorrow, saying: “To me it would just mean four wins. It won’t mean anything more than that That’s not me playing down the question. It’s how it has to be.
“Confidence and a good atmosphere is good and it’s important that you fight for that. The feeling is a lot better than when you lose games. If we win it’ll be a fourth win but it won’t mean more than that - not at this point of the season anyway.
“In this league, and you’ve seen it with ourselves, one minute everyone thinks you’ll struggle. The next minute, a game later, everyone thinks you can push on and do better. To put wins together is difficult, especially in this league.”
Asked to explain the turnaround in form, Monk said: “It’s belief. I can honestly say that from day one I’ve seen this team have it and I’ve never seen them lose it. When we had the (poor) results we had, we didn’t feel sorry for ourselves.
“That’s a really good indicator and its what everyone should be looking at. Of course there are going to be ups and downs but with this team and the potential they’ve got, we have to back them.”
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