Garry Monk on Leeds United’s ‘slow’ steps in right direction

Chris Wood celebrates his penalty which put United in front. Picture Tony Johnson.
Chris Wood celebrates his penalty which put United in front. Picture Tony Johnson.
  • Cardiff City 0, Leeds United 2
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Garry Monk feels Leeds are heading in the right direction after they recorded their first back-to-back wins during his time at Elland Road.

Monk’s position has been under intense scrutiny with reports that Leeds owner Massimo Cellino had already grown tired of the former Swansea manager just a few months after appointing him.

But Leeds’ 2-0 victory at Cardiff made it four wins from six games in all competitions and two out of two in the Sky Bet Championship.

“We have a new group, new manager, new ideas, and we are taking it step by step,” Monk said after second-half goals from Chris Wood and Pablo Hernandez settled the contest.

“We are right at the start of that journey and if we give this group time to show their quality they can potentially grow into something very good.

“This is another step in the right direction. We are getting there slowly, we’ve not yet had that complete performance but we are growing.

Leeds United manager Garry Monk.

Leeds United manager Garry Monk.

“It was important to get those back-to-back wins and see how these young players deal with that momentum.”

Monk admitted his victory tasted a little sweeter given his Swansea connections.

The former Swansea captain’s first game as a manager was a 3-0 derby-day victory over Cardiff in February 2014.

And Swansea old boy Hernandez, who shone that day at the Liberty Stadium, was a central figure again at the Cardiff City Stadium as he capped an impressive display with a stunning late effort.

“I watched Pablo’s celebration closely,” Monk said.

“Of course, I had those feelings inside myself, but I just want to focus on Leeds United and want this club to do well.

“It was nothing to do with me today. I’m just pleased for everyone connected with the club and to give those supporters something to smile about on the journey home.”

Cardiff remain in the bottom three after a fourth successive defeat, with the club having won only once all season.

Bluebirds boss Paul Trollope said referee Graham Scott “changed the game” when he awarded Leeds a 62nd-minute penalty after Matthew Connolly grappled with Pontus Jansson in the box.

“I thought we were in pretty good control, we needed one of the chances to go in and they didn’t,” Trollope said.

“The refereeing decision changed the game, which was frustrating for us because there was a lot going on at set-pieces at both ends.

“I’m not saying it wasn’t a penalty but if he’s giving it then he could be giving a few at either end.”

Asked about the growing pressure on him, Trollope said the results were not acceptable.

“I’ve received good support from the owner, chairman and CEO,” Trollope said.

“Of course there’s a need for short-term results, we don’t want to be in the league position we’re in because it hurts.

“Patience is the key, especially in the modern game. But it’s my responsibility to shape it and mould it and get the best out of people.”