Leeds United in stronger position to counter Newcastle United - Garry Monk

GARRY MONK believes Leeds United are much better equipped to face Newcastle United than was the case when the two clubs met earlier in the season.

Marco Silvestri is out for the season after undergoing surgery.

The Elland Road side head to Tyneside tomorrow night looking to further strengthen their grip on a play-off place.

To do that, Monk admits Leeds will have to perform better than in November’s 2-0 defeat at home to Rafael Benitez’s side in front of the club’s first sell-out crowd in the league since 2010.

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The United chief said: “In the first game we had against Newcastle, it was the first sell-out for a number of years at Elland Road. Maybe we played the occasion a little bit and didn’t have our full focus on the football.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell is ready to deputise on the bench, says Leeds boss Garry Monk. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

“We want to go up there and make sure we don’t make the same mistake. I spoke to the players after the first game and said I felt we hadn’t done ourselves enough justice.

“I don’t think we showed them too much respect. I just think we didn’t put ourselves in a position to show what we are capable of. We were playing very well at that point and that was our first really big game in terms of crowd size and expectation.

“Maybe the atmosphere played a part, for a young group like ours. 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.

Leeds United club captain Liam Bridcutt will be fit to face Newcastle United

“That is when the players produce their best football and that is what we need to do at St James’ Park.”

Liam Bridcutt and Hadi Sacko have recovered from niggling injuries so are both available for the trip to the North East.

Meanwhile, Marco Silvestri is likely to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a troublesome knee injury.

The 25-year-old, back-up to Robert Green since Monk arrived last summer, was absent from the bench in last Saturday’s 3-0 win over Preston North End.

Bailey Peacock-Farrell is ready to deputise on the bench, says Leeds boss Garry Monk. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

He indicated to United a desire for surgery to take place as soon as possible, meaning 20-year-old Bailey Peacock-Farrell will act as cover for Green during the run-in. “If Bailey is called upon I am sure he will be ready,” added Monk.

Leeds United club captain Liam Bridcutt will be fit to face Newcastle United