Sheffield Wednesday's Garry Monk prepares to defend his unbeaten record against Leeds United's Marcelo Bielsa

Garry Monk
Garry Monk
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Garry Monk has an enviable record when it comes to facing rival boss Marcelo Bielsa.

For the Sheffield Wednesday manager - who comes face-to-face with Leeds United chief Bielsa on Saturday at Elland Road in the Championship - is yet to taste defeat in three previous encounters. That includes a 0-0 draw at Hillsborough in October, plus a league double when Monk was in charge at Birmingham City last season.

Against this season’s Championship pace-setters, that is an impressive feat, and one which Monk will be hoping to extend this weekend.

“With Leeds, out of the whole league, you have to be mindful - or the reason why it can be such a tough game - is they put you into so many defensive actions,” said Monk, who spent 12 months as Leeds boss in the 2016-2017 season, before joining Middlesbrough.

“Their aim is to be promoted this year, and they are on the right course. But in the three games I have had against them, we have managed to do quite well result-wise.

“They man-mark, are very much an aggressive pressing team. That allows them to do is put you into a lot of defensive actions.

“What you have to do is be very good in those actions, otherwise they will cause you a lot of problem.

“I will try and use my experience of playing against that manager’s way of playing, and see if we can come out on top again.”

Monk had only been at Wednesday for six games, before Leeds arrived at Hillsborough in October.

But the Owls emerged with a point from a 0-0 draw, and had chances to take all three, with Steven Fletcher - ruled out of Saturday’s game with a knee injury - smashing ball against the crossbar.

Monk said: “It was a good game here (at Hillsborough), a game we could possibly have won. We need to put that performance in again.”

Last season, Monk’s Birmingham City won 2-1 at Elland Road - Che Adams netting twice, with Ezgjan Alioski replying late on.

And former Sheffield United striker Adams was also on target at St Andrews in the return fixture, netting the only goal in a 1-0 win.

“Every match brings different methods of playing,” said Monk. “I have come up against their manager’s team three times - this will be the fourth.

“Of course, they are a very good side, that’s why they are top of the league.”