Leeds United manager Garry Monk praises team despite Liverpool defeat

Leeds United manager Garry Monk admitted that he was disappointed to see his side crash out of the EFL Cup quarter-finals at Liverpool, but insisted he was proud of his side's performance.

The Championship side hit the woodwork through Kemar Roofe and could have scored on numerous occasions, but eventually the Reds' class shone through as Divock Origi and Ben Woodburn saw the home side through to the semis.

Monk praised his side's reaction to a more counter-attacking tactical set-up than usual, and said that on another day his players would have left Anfield on the winning side.

"I asked them to play in a slightly different way tactically, which we had to do here," he said. "I think we followed it to a tee apart from taking one of quite a few opportunities.

"Perhaps all we needed was a bit more composure, decision-making and we would have had a couple of goals."

Further motivation in race for Premier League

Despite coming up against a side challenging for the Premier League title, Monk agreed that the overall feeling was of disappointment - though the experience of the game would give his players motivation in their quest for a top-flight return.

"Yes [we're disappointed], we hold a very high standard," he said. "We're not happy with losing whoever we play against. I'm not going to criticise my team, I thought we were magnificent tonight. A bit better finishing and it could have been a better result on another night.

"[Promotion] is the ambition. This is a Premier League club in terms of size and support. This young group of players is on the road there but whether it takes a bit of time or we get there sooner, that's what we're striving for."

Leeds currently sit fifth in the Championship table, and will have their promotion credentials tested in the coming weeks with fixtures against fellow promotion-chasers Reading and Brighton and Hove Albion, as well as a clash with recently relegated Aston Villa.