Leeds United manager: Ipswich Town pitch made passing the ball difficult

Leeds manager Garry Monk ahead of the Ipswich Town v Leeds United (Sky Bet Championship) match at Po

Leeds manager Garry Monk ahead of the Ipswich Town v Leeds United (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 18 February 2017. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Leeds United manager Garry Monk was happy with a point from Portman Road, after his play-off chasing side were held to a 1-1 draw by improving Ipswich Town, on Saturday afternoon.

Monk saw his side score through Stuart Dallas, against the run of play towards the end of a first half, in which the Blues were the better team.

Asked if the point was a good one, the former Swansea boss, who saw Freddie Sears open the scoring for Town, said: “I think so in the end, for sure.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult game, especially as Ipswich have been in good form recently and had some good results against some good teams.

“We knew it was going to be extra difficult here and the pitch didn’t help either team, especially in terms of trying to play our football, but we tried. We tried to pass the ball.”

Asked in more detail about the pitch, he added: “It was a very difficult pitch to play our football on but I never try and take that away from the team. I think we just needed to be a bit smarter and have a little bit more conviction in the passing we had to make. We tried to play on a difficult pitch and the effort and commitment was clear.

“I thought we started very well in the first 10 minutes, and I think the (Ipswich) goal came against the run of play – it was the first time that we really made a mistake and they scored from it, and then we did not react well to first goal.

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“We made too many mistakes which invited pressure from Ipswich and quite like their first goal, we probably scored our goal against the run of play at the end of the first half.”

The Leeds boss brought on Liam Bridcutt at the break to add more steel to his midfield and thought his side controlled proceedings more after the break, despite David McGoldrick going close on a couple of occasions in the second period.

“We tried to gain more control in the second half, we tried to play, and credit to Ipswich, I thought they defended very well,” he added.

“I thought we defended very well and I thought the game, at 1-1, looked like it could have been decided by a set-piece or a mistake, but we stayed concentrated to the end and I thought it was a deserved point.”

Town have now taken six points from four games, against Reading, Aston Villa, Brighton and Leeds and Monk explained: “Ipswich are a tough team to play against, especially in the form they have been in, in recent weeks. We came to win, we didn’t come here to sit back and take a point.

“They were physical but I thought it we dug in.”

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