Leeds United: The next eight games are more important than me, says boss Monk

HEAD coach Garry Monk insists there remains 'plenty of time' to discuss his long-term future at Leeds United with his current contract set to end in the summer.

Tuesday, 21st March 2017, 8:03 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:05 am
Garry Monk

Monk has United on course for their best season since relegation from the Premier Division in 2004 and a first appearance in the Championship’s play-offs since 2006.

With fourth-placed Leeds now only eight points behind second-placed Brighton, the club also have an outside chance of sealing an automatic promotion place.

There have consequently been huge calls from United’s fan base for joint-owners Massimo Cellino and Andrea Radrizzani to commit bright 38-year-old manager Monk to a long-term deal.

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The former Swansea City manager joined Leeds on a one-year deal last summer.

But Monk has again insisted that he is happy for talks to wait until another day with the head coach keeping his sole focus on United’s Championship run in.

Leeds will return to action after the current international break a week on Saturday at fifth-placed Reading.

Asked if there had been any developments with potential contract talks, Monk told TalkSPORT: “I’m really focused on this team and the club and doing well and these games coming up.

“I am sure that there will come a point where the club will want to sit down and talk about the future which is important and I am sure that time will come.

“But we have plenty of time between now and the end of the season.

“My contract runs to the end if the summer and there’s plenty of time between now and then to discuss the future.

“But at this moment in time I am really just focused on this team and making sure that they can do well.”

Asked if he felt there was a realistic chance of Leeds finishing in the top two, Monk reasoned: “We have a very young team, and not a vastly experienced team, and what has worked for us is concentrating on each game at a time.

“I know a lot of managers say that but we really have and we try and focus week to week on the game that’s ahead. And really it’s to put our maximum into that game to get the three points that are ahead of us.

“We can’t really be looking here and there, of course we are aware of the possibilities but I think what has worked well for us and this young group is focusing on the game ahead – giving our maximum for that game and seeing if we can try take those three points.”

Leeds now have an eight-point cushion back to those teams outside of the play-off places, led by seventh-placed Fulham, who are themselves four points clear of eighth-placed Norwich City and ninth-placed Preston North End.

Leeds are also two points clear of fifth-placed Reading and seven ahead of sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.

The Whites are consequently are long odds on and no bigger than 1-26 to finish in the top six.

Leeds are 33-1 to finish in the top two ahead of their final eight games of the season.

Also speaking on TalkSPORT, former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp reasoned: “He’s done a great job at Leeds has Garry, an excellent job. I’m really pleased for him. But the first two spots look like it’s between Newcastle and Brighton.”