Preston 1 Leeds United 4: Monk hails winning feeling as Simon Grayson questions referee

Monk and Simon Grayson share a joke before kick-off
Monk and Simon Grayson share a joke before kick-off
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Garry Monk could not fault Leeds' all-round performance after they dominated Preston to triumph 4-1 and cement their position in the Sky Bet Championship play-off places.

Leeds are fifth in the table, five points clear of seventh-placed Fulham, after ruthlessly brushing aside a Preston team whose own hopes of moving closer to the top six were dealt a severe blow.

Kemar Roofe started a rush of three goals in 14 first-half minutes, which included strikes from Hadi Sacko and Souleymane Doukara, with a reply from Preston's Marnick Vermijl arriving in between.

Substitute Pablo Hernandez added a fourth late on, while North End also had Jermaine Beckford sent off three minutes after coming on, leaving Monk content.

"It was eventful with goals, the sending-off and some good tackles," said the Leeds boss. "But we knew that coming here was going to be difficult for us physically.

"They play quite a direct game. We accepted that really well and went toe to toe.

Leeds United boss Garry Monk

Leeds United boss Garry Monk

"We managed to get ourselves some good goals, the only disappointment being their goal. That was the only time where I thought we lost concentration.

"It was a good reaction after that, though, to regain the two-goal lead.

"I thought it was a very good all-round performance against a team that are doing very well lately.

"It's great to be winning games. We are fighting hard to improve and we are learning all the time. But it's step by step - our fight is for the three points ahead of us."

The Leeds squad celebrate after the match

The Leeds squad celebrate after the match

Beckford was playing his first game after a ban for fighting team-mate Eoin Doyle but was sent off three minutes after coming on when he kicked out as a reaction to a strong challenge by Kyle Bartley.

"(Luke) Ayling and Bartley have gone tight on Jermaine and he's got a knee in the back," explained Preston boss Simon Grayson of the dismissal.

"There's some legs flying around and one has caught Bartley in the face. Ayling or Bartley could have got a second yellow and the ref missed another one when (Pontus) Jansson stamped on (Simon) Makienok in the first half.

"It was inconsistent from the referee but Jermaine has to react in a better way than he has done.

"I think he got a nasty knee in the back but you can't react and that took the wind out of our sails. You don't need to be going down to 10 men too many times in this division.

"It's something that Jermaine has to accept, he will get a four-match ban and we'll lose him.

"I think sometimes in the heat of the moment we do things we shouldn't do but you'd like to think the older players can cope with it."