Monk’s seeking home comforts against PNE

Chris Wood and Harlee Dean challenge for the ball in Leeds' defeat at Brentford in midweek
Chris Wood and Harlee Dean challenge for the ball in Leeds' defeat at Brentford in midweek
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Leeds will be hoping a return to Elland Road can stabilise their play-off charge after a wobble on the road.

The Yorkshire outfit lost 1-0 at Reading last Saturday and were then beaten 2-0 by Brentford on Tuesday night.

But they have not lost three on the bounce under Garry Monk’s stewardship, that the challenge for Preston when they cross the Pennines this weekend.

If they could inflict a third loss in a week on Leeds, it would give their own hopes of a top-six place a huge boost.

Monk’s men are in fifth place, with a five-point lead over Fulham in seventh.

So it seems likely they will be contesting the play-offs as they bid to make a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2004.

Head coach Monk wants his side to dust themselves down quickly after the two away defeats.

“We will be ready for the last six games,” said Monk.

“No one would have thought we would be in this position at the start of the season so let’s give credit to this group, I have full trust in them.

“I have been in far worse positions than we’re in now.

“We are in a fantastic 
position, we have to embrace that and we’ve got no time to dwell or to feel sorry for 
ourselves.”

Two goals in the first half condemned Leeds to defeat at Brentford, and Monk admitted their Griffin Park hosts had played well.

They had chances to get themselves back into the game but saw them go begging.

Said Monk: “What we needed was for one of them to go in.

“It might have given us a chance to change the game but it didn’t and there are no excuses from us.

“It’s not often that we’ve had to experience back-to-back defeats but I think in the first half we have to credit Brentford.

“I’ve watched a lot of them this season and that was one of the best first-half displays I’ve seen from them.

“They were exceptional and they made it very difficult for us.

“It’s disappointing but it doesn’t change our situation from where we were.”

In Preston boss Simon Grayson, Monk will welcome one of his many predecessors in the Elland Road hot seat.

Monk believes PNE are genuine play-off contenders, saying: “Preston have had a fantastic season, Simon has done a great job there.

“They could still get in the play-offs.”

Leeds will be without Liam Cooper, the central defender having received a six-game ban from the FA for stamping on Reading’s Reece Oxford.

Cooper pleaded guilty to a retrospective violent conduct charge after the incident was not spotted by the referee.

The FA felt the standard three-game suspension was not sufficient.

Leeds’ attack will be led by Chris Wood, who is the top scorer in the Championship with 24 goals.

Moudo Barrow, on loan from Swansea, or 
Keemar Roofe will play behind him.