Leeds boss admits players couldn’t handle big crowd against Newcastle at Elland Road
The 20 November 2016 saw Elland Road host its first capacity crowd in years and Garry Monk now admits he believes it was responsible for the two goal defeat.
That match saw any number of Leeds current and former players/management claiming that the far bigger than they were used to crowd was going to inspire the Leeds players, yet in the event it was Newcastle who dominated and came away with a relatively easy three points.
Now the Leeds boss says ‘we want to go up there and make sure we don’t make the same mistake’.
There were 36,002 inside Elland Road back in November and another 16,000+ will be there on top of that figure at St James Park on Friday, as the Leeds players will be in front of their biggest crowd of the season.
Garry Monk believes that his players ‘learnt from that’ defeat at home and we will ‘see a very focused approach in this game’.
With only two away wins since Boxing Day, Leeds United haven’t been the best travellers and so we will find out tomorrow whether playing in front of an even bigger crowd will inspire of intimidate even more this time around.
“In the first game we had against Newcastle, it was the first sell-out for a number of years at Elland Road. Maybe we played the occasion a little bit and didn’t have our full focus on the football.
“We want to go up there and make sure we don’t make the same mistake. I spoke to the players after the first game and said I felt we hadn’t done ourselves enough justice.
“I don’t think we showed them too much respect. I just think we didn’t put ourselves in a position to show what we are capable of. We were playing very well at that point and that was our first really big game in terms of crowd size and expectation.
“Maybe the atmosphere played a part, for a young group like ours.
“Maybe all the build-up to that contributed to us not performing to our level.
“We still played a good game but not quite at the level we are capable of reaching.
“The players have learned from that. We have grown from that game and I am sure you will see a very focused approach in this game.
“That is when the players produce their best football and that is what we need to do at St James’ Park.”
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