Garry Monk says that he always knew that Leeds United were a ‘huge club’.
However, when he took the job at Elland Road, he also knew that there were also a lot of other ‘huge clubs’ in the Championship this season.
The former Swansea boss has undoubtedly done an excellent job at Leeds after so many years in the wilderness and they look nailed on for the play-offs.
For much of the season they have threatened to get involved in the automatic promotion race but have never quite managed to make that final step and get amongst the top two.
Saturday’s defeat at Reading looks to have finally killed off any hopes they had of avoiding the play-offs lottery, as Leeds now trail Newcastle by 12 points and Brighton by 11, with only seven games remaining for all three.
Putting a dose of reality into the situation, Garry Monk says everybody has to accept that the Yorkshire club ‘still have a long, long way to go’ before they can be in a position to be saying promotion is the very real aim for a club who have been out of the Premier League for so long.
Monk says that this is the big difference compared to both Newcastle and Brighton, two clubs who had realistically targeted automatic promotion from the very start of the season.
Newcastle were made hot favourites by everybody, with the best manager in the division and sensibly investing the money from players sold last summer, yet still having a massive £30m+ transfer surplus.
Meanwhile Brighton lost out on automatic promotion last season only on goal difference and Chris Hughton and his club fought very hard to keep that near miss team intact.
Amongst their top players who were targeted, they turned down Newcastle bids for both Dunk and Knockaert.
As for Leeds, this will be their challenge if they miss out this season.
Despite being a ‘huge club’ these years outside the top tier have seen a constant procession of promising players developed, only to be picked up by bigger/Premier League clubs.
The likes of Jansson and Wood will surely attract sizeable bids if Leeds are still in the Championship next season, that may well be make or break for both Monk and Leeds, when it comes to maintaining a push for top flight football.
Hopefully Newcastle will be long ago promoted and we can sit back and watch what looks sure to be an intriguing play-off fight at the end of this season.
Garry Monk speaking to BBC West Yorkshire:
“I always knew this was a huge club but there’s a lot of huge clubs in this league.
“It should be the aim of this club one day to have an objective where they can say ‘right bang’, the aim is to get promoted this season right at the start, like Brighton and Newcastle.
“But as a club we still have a long, long way to go to reach that point where we can say that’s the objective right from the very start.”