LEEDS United legend Eddie Gray has urged his former club to act quickly in appointing a successor to Garry Monk and forget about the former head coach’s exit.
Monk announced his resignation on Thursday afternoon but failed to give clear reasons for his departure. The 39-year-old said only that he was “unable to agree a suitable way to move forward” with new Whites owner Andrea Radrizzani, who was intent on offering Monk a new three-year deal.
The former head coach’s one-year deal was set to expire this summer but Radrizzani had hoped to activate a one-year extension to Monk’s contract yesterday before later offering the former Swansea City chief a new deal.
But Gray says the fall-out from Monk’s departure quickly needs to be forgotten and that United must act swiftly in appointing a successor.
Former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka remains the strong favourite to replace Monk who himself is a strong contender for the Boro job.
Alan Pardew, Nigel Pearson, Marco Silva, Claudio Ranieri and Sam Allardyce are among other names prominent in the betting to take the Whites hot-seat.
“Like everybody else, I was a bit surprised but the club now have got to get something sorted out pretty quickly,” Gray told the YEP.
“You don’t want it to be dragging on and not getting anybody in and getting players in before they are ready to come back for pre-season.
“I think it will have taken people by surprise and that’s the most difficult thing for the new owner – to try and get things put in place.
“What you have got to say is that Garry did a good job for the football club. It’s disappointing that he has left and everybody will feel the same.
“But the club have got think onwards and upwards – they have got to get on with it and the quicker we get on with it as a football club the better we are going to be.
“The fans will be wanting to see something put in place, we have sold a lot of season tickets this year and I think the expectation level with the fans would be that Garry would stay.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of what happened but all of a sudden Garry decided that he was moving on for whatever reason. Garry will have his own reasons, probably from a professional point of view because I think he was enjoying the life up here and enjoying the football club.
“I think he enjoyed everything about it. So you can only assume it’s from a professional point of view he has done it, whatever that might be.
“We will just have to wait and see but our club have got to think about themselves. Garry has gone now, that’s it. It’s in the past now.
“Garry has done an exceptionally good job at the club and you wish him well in whatever he does but we have got to think of Leeds United football club now and move on.”
Asked if he felt Karanka would be a good appointment at Leeds, Gray reasoned: “He did well at Middlesbrough and I don’t know what happened up there.
“Obviously communications between him and his board up there broke down for whatever reason so we’ll just have to wait and see.
“But whoever it is, everybody has got to get right behind the new man because that’s the nature of football.
“I wouldn’t throw any name into the hat myself, that’s not my position.
“The club will look at it and they will find who they think is best for the job.”