'˜We dominated' - Garry Monk '˜extremely proud' of Leeds United after Derby are sent packing
Leeds have been one of the Championship’s surprise packages under Monk this season and they made it five straight victories without conceding at Elland Road on Friday night courtesy of Chris Wood’s header.
The result moved United eight points clear of seventh-placed Derby and added to the feel-good factor around the club after Italian businessman Andrea Radrizzani last week acquired a 50 per cent stake.
“I’m extremely proud of that group tonight,” said Monk.
“My challenge to the players before the game was to show everything we’ve been building. I wanted them to do it in front of our crowd, the cameras and against a very good side in Derby.
“I think we did that from the first minute to the very last.
“We dominated from start to finish. We had a real stranglehold in that first 45 and didn’t let them breathe. We played some excellent football, created chances and were dangerous from set-pieces - we had everything.
“The only criticism I have is we had them where we wanted them physically in that last 15 but we just had to be a bit more patient with the ball.
“But I’m extremely proud of that performance. The atmosphere was unbelievable again in this old school, atmospheric stadium.”
Leeds spurned numerous chances during a one-sided first period - centre-back Kyle Bartley particularly guilty after missing a glaring opportunity - but they finally broke through on the stroke of half-time through Wood’s 17th goal of the season.
Derby improved after the break but they rarely threatened and lost former Leeds midfielder Bradley Johnson to a red card for two bookable offences late on.
“The fans pushed the players over the line and everything is positive at the club right now,” added Monk.
“We killed ourselves for those three points and we’ll do the same again for the next three points.
“We’ll have some ups and downs until the end of the season but the club from top to bottom and on the terraces is pushing in the right direction and that is all anyone should be focusing on.”
Radrizzani watched the game from the stands and the new co-owner would have enjoyed a dominant Leeds performance.
“I spoke to him a couple of nights ago and was impressed,” added Monk.
“He’s a really smart guy and seems very positive about everything with the club.
“Everything is really positive right now with the two co-owners, the football on the pitch and the crowd.
“It’s been missing for a while at Leeds but we have to keep it that way.”