Leeds v Newcastle part I: Monk locked in battle with Benitez over key gong

By Alex Stevens

Leeds boss Garry Monk has been nominated for the October manager of the month award in the Championship.

The league’s official website revealed on Thursday morning that the Leeds manager will battle with Newcastle’s Rafael Benitez, Brighton’s Chris Hughton and Preston’s Simon Grayson for the prestigious gong.

It is the first time that Monk has been in the running for the monthly awarded handed to the Championship manager who has made the biggest impact in the set calendar period.

During October, Leeds won three of their five league matches, against Barnsley, Wolves and Burton, drew against Wigan and lost 1-0 to Derby.

“Monk has shown a calmness in dealing with the pressure of the Leeds job while introducing his own methods at the club. Ten points from five games has the Elland Road faithful looking upwards again,” reported the official Championship website.

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Benitez is likely to be the man to beat for the October award, after steering Newcastle to a perfect five wins from five league matches during the month.

Nevertheless, Leeds have become a team to be reckoned with after winning nine out of their last 12 matches in all competitions to climb to the Championship top six for the first time since December 2013.

The Yorkshire giants will come face to face with Newcastle after the international break when they host Benitez’s team at Elland Road in what will be the first sell-out at the stadium in years.

In other Leeds news, the club are eyeing a stunning swoop for a one-time England international to lead them to the Premier League.