Rare patience at Elland Road proving a virtue
BOSS Garry Monk was thought to be on borrowed time at Leeds United with the club in the bottom four in September.
Fast-forward three months and he is looking like the hottest managerial property outside of the Premier League – praised to the hilt by former England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher this week – and Thursday’s adversary Steve Bruce describes Monk’s Leeds team as the “best in years”.
It was no wonder then, that Bruce was the happier of the two bosses to take away a point from the blockbuster encounter at Villa Park.
Pontus Jansson’s 54th-minute header looked set to hand Leeds a deserved victory that would have sent them into the top three.
But Liam Cooper was penalised for handball four minutes from time and Villa’s Mr Reliable Jonathan Kodjia made no mistake from the penalty spot – his ninth goal of the season relief for Bruce, who could not watch the spot-kick.
“I never do watch,” he said. “He [Kodjia] missed the last one, so he showed a pair of balls to step up and stuck it away well.
“We stuck at it and we’ve got a point out of it. We might have nicked it and I think that might have been a bit unfair. They’re the best Leeds team I’ve seen in a good few years.
“They’re confident, they’re playing well and you could see that in abundance.”
With the transfer window now open, the business done this month could well determine whether either or indeed both of these teams can secure a top-six finish.
Monk though, made all the right noises about his team’s performance at Villa Park and his assertion that any changes to his squad will be minor appear justified.
“Credit to my players, their attitude and sheer will to try win was clear,” said Monk.
“The way they are going about their work right now is pleasing. They’re growing all the time and that’s something to take from this game. “It shows how far we’ve come that we’re disappointed not to win against a team that have a fantastic record at home. We take a point and a lot of confidence and positives.
“We will have a big crowd supporting us against Rotherham on Monday and, like always, we want to put our best football on the pitch and fight for the three points as hard as we can.”
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