Monk happy with progress Leeds United are making

Leeds United boss Garry Monk is pleased with the work done on the pitch and training ground in Ireland ahead of the new season.

Monday, 18th July 2016, 10:57 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:12 pm
Marcus Antonsson celebrates his first goal for Leeds United against Shamrock Rovers. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Whites won both of their pre-season friendlies while in Ireland as they followed up the midweek 2-1 success against Shelbourne with a 3-0 win over Shamrock Rovers on Saturday.

Two goals from new striker Marcus Antonsson and a penalty by strike partner Chris Wood clinched an easy victory against opponents who were unable to field first teamers as they had a League of Ireland game the previous night.

Leeds could have won by more as Wood and Matt Grimes both hit the woodwork and Hadi Sacko brought saves from home keeper Barry Murphy and head coach Monk was happy with his team’s display despite the low standard of opposition.

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He said: “It was definitely an improvement on Wednesday. I had a good meeting with the players after Wednesday’s game and there were a lot of things that we needed to work on but I saw a definite improvement today and that’s always good.

“Again, there are things that we need to improve on still but that’s quite natural and it was good to end two really good weeks away with two wins.

“Even though I’m not so focused on the results, wins give confidence to the players and it was important they saw improvement from Wednesday.

“There was more team ethic out there than I saw on Wednesday - a little bit more cohesive.

“I wouldn’t disrespect them (Shamrock) too much. They were a step up from Wednesday night in terms of their level of the club here and as much as you can look at the game like that, the improvement for me was in the amount that we dominated. To dominate them so much was pleasing from my side.”

Monk warned the players there was more work to come back in England this week.

He added: “This is where it starts to get more competitive, even though it has been already.

“This is where the players need to start stepping up and focusing on what they’re being asked to do.

“At this moment it’s very difficult to say how much we’ve improved, but what I do know is that the work we’ve done is exactly what I wanted.

“I can see the details I’m looking for. In terms of then and now and how much better we’re getting.

“You have to be a hard taskmaster. I want perfection or to get as close to it as I can. The players know it. I said to them at the end ‘good week these two weeks’ but we’ll be back in and we have to be ready to go again.

“Pushing forward is the key. There’s no short term to it, we don’t just turn up tomorrow as a better team. We have to stay focused.”

Leeds are now preparing for a friendly at Guiseley on Friday night and a trip to Peterborough United on Saturday.