Leeds United v Preston North End: Monk welcomes quick turnaround

Garry Monk. PIC: Simon Hulme
Garry Monk. PIC: Simon Hulme
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Garry Monk promised that Leeds United would not be caught “feeling sorry for ourselves” after seeing their Championship play-off place come under threat.

United’s head coach welcomed a quick turnaround before the club’s home game against Preston North End on Saturday as his side look to move on from successive away defeats.

Derby boss Gary Rowett.

Derby boss Gary Rowett.

Leeds followed up last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Reading with a 2-0 defeat to Brentford at Griffin Park on Tuesday, inviting pressure from the sides beneath them in the league.

Sheffield Wednesday, who are one place below Leeds in sixth, beat Rotherham United 2-0 in midweek to cut United’s lead over them to three points.

A 4-2 defeat for Fulham at Derby County, meanwhile, left a five-point gap between United and seventh position.

Leeds will host in-form Preston in 48 hours’ time and a team with an outside chance of breaking into the top six. They are eighth after routing Bristol City 5-0 on Tuesday.

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson.

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson.

Monk watched Leeds struggle badly in the first half against both Reading and Brentford but insisted he was not concerned about a loss of confidence amongst his players.

The former Swansea City defender, who won repeated promotions during his time in Wales, said: “I’ve been in far worse positions than what we’re in now. We’re in a fantastic position. We have to embrace that and we’ve got no time to dwell or to feel sorry for ourselves. We don’t and I know that for sure.

“I saw straight after (the defeat to Brentford) what was said and what will happen. We know there’ll be situations where we’re able to win these remaining six games and we have to make sure we take those chances. That’s the key.

“In the position we’re in, with six games to go, this group will be determined to make the most of it.”

Brentford’s impressive win over Leeds consolidated their mid-table position and Monk said: “I don’t think too many teams have played like that against us this season. You also saw what can happen with a team playing with freedom and without pressure.

“The first half is the best 45 minutes I’ve seen them play. They had no pressure on them and you could see it helped them.”

Meanwhile, Derby County manager Gary Rowett wants a significant defensive improvement from his side despite their impressive victory over high-flying Fulham on Tuesday.

The 4-2 win over the Londoners kept alive hopes of a play-off place with the Rams justseven points adrift of the top six with six games remaining.

“We have to be far more aggressive and intense in the way we defend,” said Rowett.

“If we can get that right more consistently then we have the quality to win games against any team.”