Garry Monk: This is why Leeds will beat Newcastle and cement play-off place
By Danny Wright
Garry Monk says his Leeds side has learned from their mistakes and travel to Newcastle on Friday night in a confident and ‘focused’ mood.
Leeds lost 2-0 to the Magpies at Elland Road back in November thanks to a Dwight Gayle brace.
The Leeds manager thinks that the pressure of the occasion got the better of his side on that day, but he believes that his young side has learned from their mistakes ahead of their trip to St. James’ Park.
The Whites know that a win could put them third in the Championship, above fierce rivals Huddersfield, and set them well on their way to securing a play-off spot.
Huddersfield face Preston on Friday while Reading, who are also above Leeds, don’t play until Saturday when they travel to Aston Villa.
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However it’s a huge game for Newcastle too – a home victory would see them go top of the Championship if Brighton fail to win at Wolves, and could almost seal a return to the Premier League.
“Maybe the atmosphere played a part, for a young group like ours,” said Monk when talking about the teams’ previous tie, as quoted by the Yorkshire Post.
“Maybe all the build-up to that contributed to us not performing to our level. We still played a good game but not quite at the level we are capable of reaching.
“The players have learned from that. We have grown from that game and I am sure you will see a very focused approach in this game.
“That is when the players produce their best football and that is what we need to do at St James’ Park.”
Leeds’ last win against Newcastle was a 2-0 victory back in 2002 – their only win over the north east club in this millennium.
Since then the Magpies have won four and drawn one of their meetings with the Yorkshire club.