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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Monk won't let nostalgia distract Leeds

Leeds head coach Garry Monk. Pic: PA
Leeds head coach Garry Monk. Pic: PA

Leeds head coach Garry Monk is determined not to be distracted by all the nostalgia attached to his side's League Cup quarter-final tie at Liverpool tonight.

Success-starved Leeds fans have had to content themselves with memories of the great Leeds sides of yesteryear when their trips to Anfield were headlined as the match of the day.

"It's a historic fixture in English football and we have to respect that," said Monk (above) .

"We're under no illusions. It's a very difficult game for us, they're an extremely talented side, they're doing very well in the league and obviously one of the better teams across European football.

"It's a great challenge, that's how we have to look at it. Our young players have a bit of freedom to go there. We're under no pressure, the odds are against us, but we have good belief in ourselves.

"It's important these players go through this type of experience because if you want to progress and get to the highest level of football - staff and players - we have to embrace this type of challenge and the atmosphere we face tomorrow."

Monk, the latest head coach to take up club owner Massimo Cellino's precarious challenge, has steered Leeds to fifth place in the Sky Bet Championship since replacing Steve Evans in the summer.

There are genuine hopes among Leeds fans that Monk has already instilled the organisation and culture required to climb back to the top flight.

Monk added: "We're a new group to those from years before, we're trying to fight for that right to get back there and get these fans back to the level their support deserves."

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