GARRY MONK gave credit to a young Leeds United side for overcoming an “uncharacteristic” first half and fighting back from three goals down to win 4-3 at Guiseley last night.
Leeds recovered from a disorganised start in which non-league Guiseley scored three times inside 23 minutes to record their third pre-season victory and avert a potentially humiliating result.
Monk sent a largely inexperienced line-up to Nethermoor with another friendly planned away at Peterborough United today and they were on the back foot until Eoghan Stokes’ struck just before half-time, reducing the deficit to 3-1.
Jordan Botaka, Kalvin Phillips and Souleymane Doukara then completed a rousing recovery as Guiseley tired after the hour mark.
Monk, who travelled on to Peterborough after full-time, said: “The first half was uncharacteristic of the group and of what I’ve seen in the past three-and-a-half weeks. We didn’t expect that.
“This was a young group and I told them it’s a valuable lesson. The moment you lose a little bit of focus or that bit of intensity you can get hurt by any team. Guiseley totally deserved their goals.
“The positive is that the lesson came in pre-season because that’s when you try to get rid of rustiness and mistakes. We can’t afford to have 45 minutes like that very often but I’d rather have it now.
“In the second half we showed what we are capable of and what we’ve been working on. That was pleasing, to get the reaction and win the game.”
Asked if harsh words had been exchanged at half-time, Monk said: “It’s part of my job to make sure they realise certain things but it was really pleasing that they took it on board.
“You can never be sure if the words you choose will have the right effect but they deserve a lot of credit for the quality and the spirit.”
The gaps in Monk’s squad were highlighted again by a centre-back pairing of midfielder Toumani Diagouraga and youngster Paul McKay at Nethermoor.
Sol Bamba and Kyle Bartley will start at Peterborough today while Liam Cooper remains on the sidelines with a calf injury.
Monk spoke optimistically about the likelihood of new signings arriving shortly, saying: “We’re working very hard to get the right players and we’re very close to a few of them. If they can happen in the next few days great. If not, we’ll stay patient.
“I’m only going to bring in players who will better us. Of course we’d like to bring in the players we want straight away but it’s not always from one end. There’s two ends to making a deal.”