Garry Monk salutes improving Leeds after Barnsley slide to defeat at Elland Road

Garry Monk salutes improving Leeds after Barnsley slide to defeat at Elland Road

Garry Monk admits the international break has come at the wrong time for Leeds after they made it four home wins in a row.

Monk's side were in the Sky Bet Championship bottom three after a 1-0 defeat by Huddersfield at Elland Road on September 10.

But Saturday's 2-1 victory over Barnsley was their fifth win in six games since in all competitions.

That run of form has seen Leeds climb into the top half and manager Monk is itching for the next game to come along.

"I expected some ups and downs but I thought we deserved the result," said Monk, whose side had to withstand a late fightback by Barnsley.

"The way we started the second half - that first 20 minutes - was some of the best football we've played. We looked so aggressive and threatening all the time.

"We got the second goal and at that point you can sense blood. We should have got the third that would have killed the game but for one moment we switched off.

"You see it in football a lot, they get the goal, start to get momentum and we had to suffer a lot of defensive actions in that last 20 minutes. But we defended it really well.

"I thought all the players had great determination, character and skill on show. We had pace, power - everything you'd want from a team.

"Overall we're very pleased with the result and with the way this period of games has gone.

"It's a shame the international break has come. The last one we went in with a loss and felt it had come at the right time, but now we want the games to keep coming.

"It's a bit disappointing in that sense but we'll use that period again to improve the things we need to improve and try come out the other side like we did in this period."

The defeat compounded a tough week for Barnsley in which they sacked their assistant head coach Tommy Wright. It was alleged in the Daily Telegraph's investigations into corruption in football that he took a B£5,000 payment from undercover reporters posing as football agents. He denies any wrongdoing.

"It's not been a nice week," said Reds boss Paul Heckingbottom.

"We just got on with it and tried to win, but it's not been nice.

"It was never in doubt that the players would give me application, effort and keep on doing what we do. That's what's brought us success and that's what we'll keep relying on."

Barnsley were camped in the Leeds half in the closing stages at Elland Road in search of a late equaliser after Charlie Taylor's own goal had given them a lifeline.

But goals from Kyle Bartley and Pablo Hernandez were enough to give the hosts a win that put them level on points with their Yorkshire rivals in the table.

"We're disappointed with the result," said Heckingbottom. "It's the goals we're really disappointed with.

"But there's definitely more positives than negatives from that performance."