Date: 2nd February 2017 at 8:00pm
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He didn’t mention winning ugly but there was no doubting Garry Monk’s relief at taking full points away from Ewood Park.

The day after the transfer window had closed saw Leeds gain two points on second placed Newcastle as automatic promotion becomes the target rather than a play-off spot.

Rafa Benitez was left to reflect on his surprise over the failure to sign Andros Townsend while Monk can look forward, with full points from last night, to bringing Mo Barrow into his side.

The sustained run by Leeds is clearly causing an impact with Newcastle wobbling enough to open up the prospect of automatic promotion as the season reaches the final third.

It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination,” Monk told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “It was a bit of a grind but I said to the players afterwards, there are situations you’ll face throughout the season, six or seven games where you can’t be at your best, and you have to make sure you find a way to win.

We stayed strong when it was difficult for us and in the crucial moments we scored two good goals.

Yes, we were a bit lucky to come away with the three points. A draw would maybe have been a fair result. But the mentality and the character is what I was pleased with. We know we’re going to play better than this but it was important that we showed another side. For me that’s a good sign.”

As the final whistle blew at Ewood Park there was barely a thought from any of the visitors towards Sutton United.

The FA Cup dream may be over for another year but with Monk at the helm there’s every chance that Leeds United are finally on course to return to the promised land of the Premier League.

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