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Preview: Leeds United v Blues

Of course, it’s a results business and I’m here to win and the players are here to win. But we’re on the right course and we’re not going to let anything deter us.

Garry Monk

A full match preview ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet Championship fixture between Leeds United and Blues at Elland Road (3pm kick-off).

Garry Monk asked how he manages to maintain a positive mentality amongst his players as Blues continue their search for a win...
“I think just because they know they are playing well. Of course, there’s that frustration but confidence and belief doesn’t get dented when you’re performing well as a team. They’re defending very well. It’s only been a few individual mistakes that have hurt us defensively, but in terms of the organisation and overall, we’ve been very good defensively. And offensively we’re creating chances and getting into good situations and that’s why confidence and belief is there at a really good level. Of course, it’s a results business and I’m here to win and the players are here to win. But we’re on the right course and we’re not going to let anything deter us.”

Garry Monk on the Blues fans continuing to stick with the team...
"We were clapped off for the performance at Sheffield, and West Brom was the same. They can see how hard these players are trying to give them as many wins as possible and that there’s a really good way about us. The fact that we’ve got that relationship with the fans and it feels positive is hugely important. We need to stick together no matter what and keep doing that. Home and away our fans have been with us and it’s enjoyable. Of course, three points and wins is the icing on the cake, but I think they’re actually enjoying what they’re seeing.”

Garry Monk asked if he was considering making changes to his side with two games in the space of three days...
"We will see - but we are very fit. Physically we have worked a certain way over pre-season, we have feedback on that, we know where the players are at. I wouldn’t say we have the luxury of being able to make loads and loads of changes. Thursday is more of a recovery day for the ones that played, on Friday I will have a good look at them and see who I feel is ready. We always knew this was going to be a tough week. Before the West Brom game we were told we probably wouldn’t win a game or get anything from the three games. We have had two games where we have totally dominated and should have won both games so far. We have got this third one now, which is probably going to be one of the toughest. But we have got to continue what we are doing, and I will see them in terms of freshness, but whoever goes on the pitch will be ready to give 100 per cent."

Garry Monk asked if he thought Leeds United were the best side in the Championship...
"The table says that, they are very good, they have done very, very well. You can see clearly what they are doing. They are on that run. Taking the competitive side out of it, I am delighted to see them doing well. That club deserves success but come Saturday we are there to compete and win. It’s great motivation for us, we have been challenged this week, starting before the West Brom game with the knowledge that everyone outside of us thinks we would get beaten in all three games. We have been the better team in the first two and that gives us great motivation to go to Leeds - top of the league and prove a point."

Garry Monk on how Sheffield United and Leeds differ in their styles...
"They play different styles and different formations. West Brom and Sheffield United are more similar in their set-up. Leeds play a man-marking system. They adapt themselves to the opposition, so they are different in that sense to what we have just faced in Sheffield United and West Brom. But it's difficult. The Elland Road factor, it’s an intimidating place to go, it’s going to be a full house, so it’s dealing with that factor as well. We need to go there and concentrate on ourselves. This week is a big test for us."

Leeds United Head Coach Marcelo Bielsa's comments ahead of the game...
“Garry Monk was the head coach of Leeds when they finished seventh in the Championship and has been the head coach of several teams, so he is an experienced head coach. Birmingham are a team that concedes very few goals, so that is a difficulty. The few goals that Birmingham have conceded, doesn’t correspond with their league ranking. So, the fact that they don’t concede many goals, is an important difficulty for us."

Blues team news…
Maikel Kieftenbeld and Craig Gardner should be available after recovering from knocks. David Davis (ankle) and Isaac Vassell (hip) remain sidelined.

Leeds United team news...
Leeds could name an unchanged side for a third successive game. Midfielder Adam Forshaw has recovered from injury and is back in contention.

Last five meetings between Leeds United and Blues...
Championship 30 Dec 2017 Blues 1 - 0 Leeds
Championship 12 Sep 2017 Leeds 2 - 0 Blues
Championship 03 Mar 2017 Blues 1 - 3 Leeds
Championship 13 Aug 2016 Leeds 1 - 2 Blues
Championship 12 Apr 2016 Blues 1 - 2 Leeds

Form guide. Last five Championship fixtures....
Blues: LDDDL
Leeds United: DWDDW

Ticket news...
Please note that this game is all-ticket for Blues fans and Blues fans will NOT be able to purchase tickets on the day at Elland Road. Tickets will be available to purchase in advance from the BCFC Superstore or by calling the BCFC Ticket Office on 0121 772 0101 option 2 until 11am on Friday 21 September.

Message from Leeds United for Blues fans attending the game at Elland Road...
Leeds United looks forward to welcoming back Birmingham City fans on Saturday 22 September 2018. To ensure a speedy and safe entry into the ground, we would respectfully ask fans not to bring any bags to the stadium. Leeds United operates a full search regime including pyro dogs, for the safety of spectators coming to the ground, and we would ask that you arrive early to ensure everyone is in before kick-off. There will be a dedicated away fans bar (Howards) open from 13.00, in the ground, selling food and drinks, including alcohol. Leeds United has committed to the Chairmans’ Charter and as such anyone found with a pyrotechnic in the ground or attempting to bring one into the ground will be arrested and their details returned to Birmingham City Football Club. This could result in a three-year ban. Birmingham City fans are encouraged to come and support their team and enjoy the game.

BluesTV…
We are broadcasting the game live to overseas subscribers. Blues fans in the UK will be able listen to audio commentary with expert analysis from Jon Bell and Kevan Broadhurst. For full details about the new-look BluesTV, please click here.

Match officials…
Peter Bankes will take charge of Saturday's game at Elland Road. So far this season, the Merseyside-based official has refereed eight games, where he has produced a total of 38 yellow cards and one red. The last Blues game he took charge of was our opening Championship home game of the season in August against Norwich City. That match finished in a 2-2 draw and there were three Canaries players booked, but no Blues players. The last Leeds game Mr Bankes refereed was the Whites' 4-1 win away at Derby County in August. Six players were booked in that fixture; including Ezgjan Alioski and Patrick Bamford for Leeds. Mr Bankes will be assisted on Saturday by Paul Hodskinson and Timothy Wood with Simeon Lucas acting as the fourth official.

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