Garry Monk sends message to Leeds fans ahead of Aston Villa clash
By Matt Farr
Garry Monk has urged Leeds fans not to be eaten up by the mouthwatering prospect of promotion – and simply just enjoy the ride.
Under the manager, Leeds have established themselves as genuine promotion candidates and sit fifth in the Championship with only two defeats from their last 10 league games.
They can move up to third place, just five points behind second-placed Newcastle, with a victory over Aston Villa on Thursday.
But Monk insists that the club must set aside all thoughts of promotion when they take on Steve Bruce’s side at Villa Park, focusing fully on enjoying the positivity they have created by their current form.
He admitted that the club have endured ‘years of suffering’, having struggled with financial issues and controversy in the club’s ownership, as well as having had 11 different managers in the space of just four years.
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He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It’s great to see a young group improving and getting smarter and better but really, everyone should just enjoy it.
“This club has suffered for quite a while now but I believed as a player, and I believe as a manager, that all you want to see is a team who give 100 per cent.
“Of course you want to see a team win games and win in style but the fans want to see a team who fight for the shirt.
“Whatever will happen will happen. We’re going to fight to put this club back where we feel it belongs and it’s always the ambition of this club to get back to the Premier League.
“Everyone’s ambitious, but with the suffering the club’s had over a number of years now, the fans should just enjoy it.
“We’ll have ups and downs but seeing a team who want to give 100 per cent – I think that’s why you pay your money and why you support a club. We should all enjoy this team.”
After deep financial troubles, Leeds were relegated from the top-flight in the 2003-04 season, and have spent the remaining years fighting to regain their place.
They have rarely flirted with the idea of promotion, having finished in the play-offs just once since their relegation 12 years ago.
Villa too have their sets set on a return to the Premier League, having been relegated last season. Bruce’s side have only lost twice since the former Hull boss took the reins, one of which was against Leeds.
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