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Tuesday 27 June 2017

Monk awaits 'massive test' against Brighton

Brighton v Leeds Utd (live sky sport 1, ko 7.45)

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Leeds manager Garry Monk is focused on dealing with growing expectations ahead of tonight's Championship clash at Brighton.

Monk, who was appointed Leeds boss in June, has engineered a revival of fortunes at the Yorkshire club after a slow start to the season.

Leeds are currently fourth in the Championship standings after winning five of their last six league games and are seven points behind second-placed Brighton.

"Each game for every club becomes harder and more important now, because teams tend to find out now what they are fighting for this season," Monk said.

"It will be another massive test for us and our young group, but one we want to see the team come through with a good performance."

The Whites have never beaten Brighton at the Amex Stadium, which Albion moved to in 2011, and have lost their last five meetings against the Seagulls.

Monk, anticipating another tricky test, added: "Brighton are where they are in the league for a reason, they have been together as a team for a long time now.

"They have a lot of experience at this level and the Amex is an extremely difficult place to go, they have a lot of quality."

Ireland midfielder Eunan O'Kane returned to training for Leeds and could also return, but remains doubtful due to a groin strain sustained in the EFL Cup defeat at Liverpool.

Despite home advantage, Brighton boss Chris Hughton knows it will be tough to gain a sixth straight win against Leeds.

"In any division, your home form is always going to be vital. It's always tougher away from home and that's just how the game is," Hughton said.

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