Peterborough United 2 Leeds United 1: We're firmly on target, Monk insists

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Garry Monk refused to be downhearted after a 2-1 loss to Peterborough United and insisted that Leeds United were firmly on course for a strong start to the season, despite the result.

The club’s head coach drew confidence from a dominant and creative first-half display at London Road and said he had no concerns about the fitness levels which saw Peterborough recover from an Alex Mowatt goal to inflict United’s first pre-season defeat.

Leeds flagged during second half in humid conditions, running out of steam and succumbing to two 25-yard goals from Shaquile Coulthirst.

Coulthirst struck on 50 and 65 minutes to give the League One side a narrow win. Mowatt had earlier opened the scoring with a 16th-minute volley.

Monk was putting most of his players through their first 90-minute appearance of the summer and the United boss said: “I’m disappointed to lose the game, we never want to lose, but I’m also happy.

“That’s our first 90 minutes and they (Peterborough) were always going to be a little bit further ahead than us. You saw in the first 45 that when we’re fit, when we’ve got a lot of energy, that’s the football we can play.

“We totally dominated them. We should have scored a few more goals and it was only in the second half that we dipped physically.

“This is a process and I’ve been through it before as a manager and a player. The only important game is the first game of the season. It’s not these games here. But that first 45 is a clear indication of how we’re going to play when we’re fully fit.”

Leeds, who sent a different line-up to Guiseley last night, have one friendly left against Atalanta at Elland Road next weekend. Their Championship campaign begins at Queens Park Rangers on August 7.

“The second half was purely physical, it was nothing tactical or technical at all,” Monk said.

“We weren’t at the same level as the other team but that’s due to the number of games they’ve had and the number we’ve had.

“I’m experienced in this and I know how to peak a team. We’re peaking for the first day of the season, not for pre-season.”