LEEDS UNITED manager Garry Monk wants to create a siege mentality bursting with “passion” at Elland Road ahead of what he expects to be a hard-fought Championship campaign.
Monk said he wants players and fans to be “in it together” throughout 2015-16 - battling against everyone outside of the club.
The Leeds boss was particularly impressed with 2,000 supporters who travelled to Saturday’s friendly against Peterborough United where, following the opening goal from Alex Mowatt belted out chants of ‘we’re going to win the league’.
And although Peterborough went on to win the pre-season friendly at London Road, the enthusiasm of the away contingent clearly impressed their team’s new manager.
“We’re all in it together,” said Monk.
“We need to use that passion and they need to put passion into the team – support the team right the way through the season.
“At the end of the season we can have the debate about whether it was this or that but until that point it has to be us against every other team, against everyone outside of Leeds United.”
Monk’s team will round-off their pre-season preparations with a meeting against Atalanta at Elland Road this weekend.
Having played 90 minutes against Peterborough, midfield-loan signing Matt Grimes is relishing the opportunity of regular first-team football following a frustrating 18 months at Swansea City.
“I need to try and get a starting place every week and to get back to playing regular games,” said Grimes.
“Getting them now is most important for my career. It’s what I want this year. Hopefully I can make an impact.”
Having played with Kyle Bartley at the Liberty City Stadium and alongside Alex Mowatt in the England Under-20 setup, Grimes feels the Posh friendly gave him time to familiarise himself with the remaining squad.
“This was the first time I’d played with a few of these players so it was good to get to know how they play. The more we play together the better we’ll get.
With kick-off less than a fortnight away, Grimes feels the squad are coming together well under Monk.
“He’s taken a fair amount of what he did at Swansea and brought it here. Obviously he’s tweaked a few things but I feel like we’re all buying into what he wants us to do.”
One player who will not be joining Grimes in midfield this season is Swedish midfielder Albin Ekdal, who Massimo Cellino signed back in 2011 from Bologna when President of Cagliari.
The Hamburg midfielder’s agent has categorically ruled out any chance of the Sweden international rejoining Cellino at Leeds United.
Ekdal, who represented Sweden at Euro 2016, was linked with Leeds over the weekend amid United’s protracted attempt to sign Liam Bridcutt from Sunderland but his agent, Martin Klette, said: “He would not play in the Championship.”