Talking points: Issues facing Leeds United boss Gary Monk ahead of QPR clash

Garry Monk unveiled at the new Leeds United manager at a press conference at Elland Road. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Garry Monk unveiled at the new Leeds United manager at a press conference at Elland Road. Picture: Tony Johnson.
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AHEAD of this afternoon’s weekly press conference at Thorp Arch (1pm), Lee Sobot looks at a few questions likely to be fielded by Leeds United head coach Garry Monk.

How long will Chris Wood be out for?

HOW LONG? Chris Wood.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson

HOW LONG? Chris Wood. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Top scorer Wood missed Tuesday night’s clash at Fulham with a tight calf and Monk seemed confident in the game’s post-match press conference that the striker would make a very quick return. But there have been various occasions this season where United players have ended up sidelined for longer than was originally envisaged - in particular the cases with Liam Bridcutt and Charlie Taylor.

United’s fans will be desperately hoping Wood will be back in the side to face QPR at Elland Road on Saturday but that should not be assumed as a given. Monk will also presumably confirm that right-back Luke Ayling will return on Saturday after missing the clash at Fulham due to his partner Poppy giving birth to the couple’s baby daughter, Maisie.

Has there been any developments on the contract front?

Monk was asked last week if there had been any talks with the club about extending his contract and admitted that there hadn’t been but that he was not focussed on that in any event. The 38-year-old insisted that there was plenty of time between now and the summer to discuss an extension or new deal.

Leeds United's Eunan O'Kane, right. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA

Leeds United's Eunan O'Kane, right. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA

But Monk continues to perform wonders at Elland Road and there is no doubt that the former Swansea City boss is going to be in demand. The former defender’s managerial contract at Leeds is only a one-year deal - and not even a rolling contract according to Monk - and the sooner the Whites get their impressive young head coach tied up long-term the better.

What is the situation with Eunan O’Kane?

Irish international midfielder O’Kane failed to make the Whites squad at Fulham which was strange given his heavy involvement for Leeds when fit. There were thus natural assumptions that O’Kane must be injured but Monk insisted that his lack of involvement at Craven Cottage was purely tactical. It will be interesting to hear what Monk’s plans are for O’Kane - and to rubber-stump the fact that there is no new injury worry.

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