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Five things we learned from Leeds United's opening pre-season friendly win

Swansea manager Garry Monk

Leeds United faced Shelbourne in their opening pre-season friendly, and won 2-1.

Leeds United got their pre-season off to a winning start, beating Shelbourne 2-1 through goals from Souleymane Doukara and Hadi Sacko.

The match was Garry Monk's first as Leeds head coach after being appointed in early June, and he made the most of the opportunity to see his players, changing the entire team midway through the second half.

Here are five things we learned from the fixture...

More signings in defence needed

Leeds United's Sol Bamba remonstrates with assistant refereeLeeds United's Sol Bamba was is of just two fit senior centre-backs they had available

Liam Cooper was injured for the fixture and this made spreading players among the two XIs difficult. Loanee Kyle Bartley and Sol Bamba figured in different halves, with Leeds forced to play Toumani Diagouraga in central defence.

The Whites were linked to signing free agent Joel Ekstrand this week, but concerns over his fitness has seen them walk away from the deal. Leeds will need to find an alternative, or risk entering the season short-handed in a vital position.

A new captain next season?

Luke Murphy of Leeds United (R) and Aron Gunnarsson of Cardiff City in actionLuke Murphy captained the Whites

It is intriguing to note Sol Bamba began the game on the bench, with Luke Murphy made captain.

The decision could be a sign of things to come under Monk, and at the very least it suggests he might not have made his mind up just yet, for if he was certain about Bamba, he surely would have been the first name on the teamsheet.

With three centre-backs and potentially another signing, competing for positions, handing the captaincy to another player instead of Bamba gives Leeds consistency - while Murphy could play a regular role in midfield again with Lewis Cook gone.

Hadi Sacko could earn a starting role

Hadi Sacko at BordeauxHadi Sacko at Bordeaux

New signing Hadi Sacko is seen as a bit of a reclamation project after his promising career stalled at Sporting Lisbon.

It was expected that he could have to force his way into the team as an impact player off the bench, with Dallas, Roofe, Antonsson and Wood all good attacking options.

Sacko's well taken goal shows he is sharp and he will take confidence from the strike. If he continues to impress, he could land himself a starting role by time the Championship starts.

Doukara is not going to fade away

Leeds United's Souleymane Doukara (C) celebrates after scoring their second goalLeeds United's Souleymane Doukara celebrates

Kemar Roofe's arrival seemed to be a bad sign for Souleymane Doukara's future at Leeds, which had seemed over anyway midway through last season.

Doukara then re-established himself in the first team before picking up an eight-game ban, and he is certainly at risk of falling down the pecking order up front, first through Antonsson's signing, and later Roofe, who can also play as a wide forward.

Yet he was handed a start last night and showed he is not going to simply fade away. His goal was a sign he could still be a useful contributor this season.

Monk not afraid to innovate

Swansea manager Garry MonkNew Leeds manager Garry Monk

With only two fit senior centre-backs, most managers would have sought to start them both, but Garry Monk demonstrated he is not afraid to innovate, and find alternative solutions.

He was also willing to get young players involved, with Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Ronaldo Vieira, Alex Purver and Tyler Denton among those to feature.

All of this bodes well for the upcoming season. A win is a win, and the early victory will give Monk and his staff confidence that they are making steady progress which the game plan and tactics they want to achieve.

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