Derby County v Leeds United: Beattie ready to hold the fort

Leeds United first-team coach James Beattie.
Leeds United first-team coach James Beattie.
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Leeds United first-team coach James Beattie said he is ready to hold the fort at Derby County on Saturday after confirming that head coach Garry Monk will serve a touchline ban and revealing assistant Pep Clotet has travelled abroad for the birth of his child.

Leeds United first-team coach James Beattie said he is ready to hold the fort at Derby County on Saturday after confirming that head coach Garry Monk will serve a touchline ban and revealing assistant Pep Clotet has travelled abroad for the birth of his child.

Clotet and Beattie are expected to occupy the dug-out at Pride Park with Monk serving a punishment for his dismissal at Bristol City last month but Beattie will stand alone in the technical area if Clotet’s return from Spain is delayed.

Monk granted his Spanish number two a period of leave to be with his wife and Clotet is hoping to fly back to England in time for United’s Championship clash with Derby. Monk, however, will watch from the stands after pleading guilty to a Football Association misconduct charge stemming from Leeds’ 1-0 defeat at Ashton Gate on September 27. He accepted a one-match touchline ban and a £2,000 fine.

The FA is understood to have accused Monk of swearing at match referee Keith Stroud and calling him “a disgrace” in the final minutes of the game in Bristol.

Beattie said: “What happened at Bristol wasn’t anything different from the norm, I don’t think. There were a lot of high emotions but to me the gaffer hasn’t done anything wrong.

“But he’s answered the FA charge and he’ll be in the stands. Depending on what happens with Pep and the imminent arrival of his baby this week – he’s in Spain – I’ll see what the gaffer wants me to do. We’ll work out a format that’s suitable for everyone.”

Beattie, who came to Leeds as Monk’s assistant in the summer, gained experience of management as Accrington Stanley boss in 2013 and 2014 and Monk’s touchline ban will not prevent him from communicating with his backroom team during Saturday’s match.

“I’ll be radioed up,” Beattie said. “I put a radio on for every game anyway and if he’s sitting up there, he might see something we can’t. Sometimes it’s advantageous to have an elevated position.

“I think that’s why some fans think the game is easy – they watch from the stands and they’re so far away that it looks very sedate. When you get to pitch level it’s very fast and it all happens really quick. You need to think fast on your feet.

“Whatever format the gaffer wants, it’ll be a little bit strange, but if it’s me shouting instructions to the boys then I’ll do it.”

Asked when Clotet would return, Beattie said: “I think he’ll be back sometime this week. The gaffer’s given him some time off because it’s a very special occasion for him. Hopefully things go well and he’ll be back but if not, we’ll deal with it, no problem.”

Gaetano Berardi

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