By Will Butcher

Garry Monk is full of admiration for former Leeds manager Simon Grayson ahead of their Championship clash against Preston on Boxing Day.

The former Swansea manager is set to go up against his predecessor in two days’ time at Deepdale, with three points enough to take the Yorkshire giants to a lofty third place in the table.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Monk claimed he had followed the former Leeds boss’ career as a player and a manager and was looking forward to sharing a dugout with him on Monday.

“He’s done well I think wherever he has gone,” Monk said. “I’ve big respect for Simon and the job he has done himself as a manager.

“I remember Simon as a player and then going into management and seeing his career. Having played against his teams over the years it was always difficult.”

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Grayson managed Leeds between 2008 and 2012, taking charge of 169 encounters as manager of the Yorkshire giants.

Winning 84 of those, Grayson had a success ratio of almost half as he guided the former Champions League side back into the second tier in the 2009-10 campaign.

After a short spell with rivals Huddersfield, Grayson is now in charge of Preston and will be putting memories aside for 90 minutes as he looks to secure three points against his old club.

Monk will be hoping to prevent that, as Leeds’ 13th domestic win of the season could see them leapfrog Reading and Huddersfield into third if both of their playoff rivals fail to secure any points on Boxing Day.

Four wins in five league games sees Monk’s side go into the game in buoyant mood, but will come up against a Preston side that have defied pre-season expectations to sit in the top half of the table.

In other Leeds news, Monk has given an update on the future of his Leeds stars.