GARRY MONK said his former assistant manager Pep Clotet was the next Leeds United appointment of most importance as the 37-year-old prepared to pave the way for his support staff.
Clotet, 39, was Monk’s assistant manager at Swansea City for two years between 2013 and 2015 and left the club along with Monk when the former Swans centre-back was sacked last December.
And United’s new head coach admitted Barcelona-born Clotet would be crucial to his future success in the Leeds job, with Monk expected to make quick moves to bring in his former No 2.
Monk also worked closely with both Kristian O’Leary and James Beattie as coaches at Swansea but it is not yet known if that duo will follow the new Whites boss to Elland Road.
A move for Clotet, though, looks inevitable, with Monk admitting the former Espanyol, Málaga, Malmö FF, Halmstad and Viking FK employee was top of his list when it came to considering recruiting his backroom team.
“Pep is definitely one of them and hopefully that will come or be finalised over the next few days,” said Monk.
“I have had an incredible relationship with him.
“He is an excellent coach, a top calibre coach who brings a lot to the table and will help obviously in the way that I work. He helps myself and will help all the players and all the staff and everyone at the club so he is definitely one of most importance.”
Together, Monk and Clotet helped Swansea to their best ever Premier Division finish of eighth in 2014-15, a feat achieved with a records points tally.
United’s new head coach also believes a strong scouting network will be key to achieving similar success at Leeds.
“We have talked about all options,” said Monk.
“The club itself will have their recruitment policy and scouts and people and contacts and of course then there’s myself.
“There’s people like myself and people that I know within that are trusted and help me with recruitment but again it’s a working process linked with the club. It’s the people that are involved in that process that will talk and we will discuss things and see what is the best way forward.”
Monk’s immediate way forward was initially back home to Swansea as the new head coach returned to see his young family ahead of an impending move up north.
The 37-year-old admitted he could not wait to get cracking.
“If I could start work tomorrow, I would,” said Monk yesterday. “But I will go back home the next few days just to make sure I sort everything out and then I will be up next week, meeting everyone else that I need to meet at the club and going through everything that I need to do in preparation for pre-season for when the players come back in.
“Really, the process will start from the start of next week.”
The head coach’s appointment also means that United’s players will finally receive a date when they must report back for pre-season training – four weeks after club captain Sol Bamba revealed that United’s players would be told about the identity of the club’s new head coach and pre-season plans by text.
Bamba’s revelation came following United’s final game of the season – a 1-1 draw at Preston North End – which proved Steve Evans’ last game in charge with Cellino axing the Glaswegian on Tuesday night.
Now the club’s Italian owner has his new man at the helm and Monk confirmed yesterday that United’s players would be asked to report back to Thorp Arch at the end of June.
Monk said of pre-season plans: “We are already working on that.
“Internally, the logistics side of it are a little bit more difficult because in a more different situation you would have those things sorted throughout the previous season but for obvious reasons it’s not been. But having spoken to the club already, those things are being worked on as we speak. There will be a six-week preparation period, which for me is the perfect preparation period for a pre-season so they will be back at the of June.”