Leeds United head coach Garry Monk has spoken out again in defence of his players and their performance against Cardiff City, insisting he was “very proud” of the club’s on-going fight for promotion.
Monk called on his squad to remain “focused and balanced” after a frustrating 2-0 defeat to Cardiff on Saturday drew criticism of their display. The result ended a sequence of six straight wins at home, with Cardiff’s opening goal the first scored by an away team in 10-and-a-half hours of football at Elland Road, but Leeds remain fifth in the Championship and Monk said they were in a position which “no-one outside of this group perceived that they would ever be in”.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s meeting with Bristol City, Monk said: “A game like (Saturday’s), playing against a team like that, can make it seem like a worse game than it was. We did very well apart from the two mistakes.
”My job as a manager and the job of the players is to be balanced and have perspective. This is a new group who were assembled in the summer and we felt we were building from scratch, putting a process in place for players to improve and move forward.
“Perspective-wise, they’re in a position which no-one outside of this group perceived that they would ever be in. We’re probably one of the only teams in and around those top places in the league who weren’t expected to be there. I’m very proud of these players. They work exceptionally hard and they go out every time to win. Sometimes it goes for them, sometimes it doesn’t. But more often than not we’ve got it right.”
Bristol City were ahead of United in the table when Leeds lost 1-0 at Ashton Gate in September but the club have dropped rapidly down the league after a woeful run either side of Christmas.
Monk, however, warned: “They’re still the attacking threat they’ve been all season. I know they’ve been in a difficult patch and a difficult run and not got the result they would have liked but they’re still a very dangerous team.”