Leeds United fans’ jury: Monk needs time to knit his new team together

Leeds United head coach Garry Monk.
Leeds United head coach Garry Monk.
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Uniteds first five games under Garry Monk have yielded only four points compared with five for Uwe Rosler and six for David Hockaday.

Should he be worried yet?

Well yes and no.

Monk is the only manager under Massimo Cellino who has been allowed to sign and install his own team. Even allowing for the sale of Lewis Cook there has been substantial investment and backing for the manager.

Last March Leeds were humiliated by Huddersfield at Elland Road, a result that was made no less painful by the fact that it was a rarity.

This time around, only Liam Bridcutt and Charlie Taylor are likely starters from that debacle, whilst Stuart Dallas, Alex Mowatt and Souleymane Doukara are only possibles.

David Wagner has built a strong side which has made a very impressive start to the season. The emphasis is on the word ‘built’.

He took over the Town side last November, hours after they had been trounced at home by Leeds and has since had the luxury of a little bit of time to mould his side together.

Will Garry Monk get the same amount of time to fashion his team?

Unlikely ... and that means a nervous nail-biting encounter on Saturday.

We all thought that Monk’s juggernaut was going to start rolling after the Sheffield Wednesday game and in fairness the Forest game could have yielded at least a point had chances been taken and set-pieces defended better.

If we look at this squad, you have to believe that it is stronger as there is lots of cover in all positions especially in midfield.

I believe that both Dallas and Mowatt will struggle to get a regular place with the likes of Hadi Sacko, Pablo Hernandez, Ronaldo Vieira, Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane all challenging. Even at the back we have Luke Ayling (who can also play centre-back), Taylor, Lewie Coyle, Gaetano Beradi (when fit), Pontus Jansson, Liam Cooper, Kyle Bartley with Tyler Denton knocking on the door. I do believe that the defence will sort itself out but what about up front?

Even against Forest good chances were being created but not being converted. When Chris Wood is having one of his off days Monk shouldnt be shy about pairing Marcus Antonsson and Kemar Roofe who is more of an out-and-out striker than a wide man. Sacko and Taylor will always create chances but they have to be put away.

Leeds do have a squad that is capable of doing much better, but results need to come soon.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Huddersfield Town 1.

MIKE GILL

After the first international break which brought another unconvincing win for England and the transfer window now shut until January, attention turns the first West Yorkshire derby of the season, Huddersfield Town being the visitors to Elland Road on Saturday.

It has been a superb start to the season for the team beyond the hill and they deserve their place at the top of the Championship.

Leeds on the other hand have still to fire. The other major problem is that Garry Monk does not seem to know his best XI and fitting square pegs in round holes isn’t helping.

The team played so well at Sheffield but we still have problems scoring, and the only question in defence is who plays alongside Kyle Bartley?

Their is also the little matter of who captains the team, now that Sol Bamba has left the club.

That said, I’m really ‘up’ for this game and I hope the Leeds players are too. Monk really needs results to improve and quick or I’m afraid he’ll go like those before him – and that would be a disaster. The club needs at least stability in the coaching of the team, whatever is happening ‘upstairs’.

Last season’s result went against form and I’m hoping it does again, but this time Leeds can edge a very close game.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Huddersfield Town 1.

KEITH INGHAM

As much as it pains me to say it, Saturday is a massive match for Leeds United. As daft as it seems, I fear for Garry Monk if Leeds don’t win this one. This fixture is too bonkers to predict, I mean even Jimmy Kebe scored in this game three years ago.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Huddersfield 2.

STEPHEN CLARK

Garry Monk and his team have been at pains to demonstrate, through social media, the hard work that has gone on at Thorp Arch over the last couple of weeks.

If we had won at Nottingham Forest then the usual cliché of the international break having “come at the wrong time” would no doubt have been deployed.

As it is, a defeat in that game means that we really needed to use the time to take stock of a very hit and miss start to the season.

The team have no more excuses for a lack of fitness.

And if we have spent some quality time on ironing out those defensive errors then I can see us sneaking our first home win against Huddersfield.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Huddersfield Town 1.

MATTHEW EVANS

The Terriers sit top of the table, unbeaten under the stewardship of David Wagner. The Whites have one win in five and have conceded a goal a game from corners. Let’s hope the break was right for United and wrong for Town.

Prediction: Leeds United 2 Huddersfield Town 1.

GARY NEWBOULD

It is ridiculous to be talking about must-win games in September but this feels like one!

Our season is already showing those familiar rollercoaster tendencies after the euphoria of Hillsborough followed by the crushing realisation at Forest that, actually, elements of this side are just as bad as last season’s. Despite the personnel changes, we still cannot defend and we still miss chances. Add in a constantly changing midfield with nine players and infinite options to choose from and the boost of another victory looks vital to calm the nerves.

Logic suggests a top of the table Huddersfield victory but we’ve learned to expect the unexpected from Leeds.

Prediction: Leeds United 3 Huddersfield Town 1.

DAVID WATKINS

Thomas Christiansen directs his players from the sidelines at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon. 
Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Watch: Thomas Christiansen’s post-match press conference after Leeds United’s 3-1 win at QPR