Leeds United chief executive Ben Mansford says the club is in possession of “one of the best young coaches around” as he denied that Garry Monk’s job had been under any threat last month.
Mansford insisted Leeds were “in a calm place with Garry” as pressure built on their head coach in the early weeks of September, prior to a dramatic turnaround of five wins in seven games. Monk consolidated his position at Elland Road with a highly impressive run of form, taking Leeds from 22nd in the Championship table to 11th place going into the current international break.
Owner Massimo Cellino was rumoured to be considering Monk’s future as early results went against Leeds’ squad, but United head to Derby County on Saturday – a side who re-employed Steve McClaren yesterday after sacking Nigel Pearson – with convincing form behind them. Leeds overhauled their coaching staff and playing squad over the summer by bringing in Monk and his backroom team at the start of June and making 11 signings before the closure of the transfer window in August.
Speaking to BBC Leeds last night, Mansford said: “We knew it was going to take a little bit of time and that the squad needed to be built up. Garry was going to be afforded that time.
“I believe we were in a calm place with Garry. I firmly believe that. Garry’s given the ownership, the senior executive team, his staff and his players every confidence that he believes he’s the man for the job. He hasn’t got too high and he didn’t get too low when we had one or two knocks.
“We crack on. Garry’s our guy, he’s doing well for us, he’s very well regarded and I believe he’s one of the best young coaches around – let him get on with his job.”
Mansford declined to discuss the possibility of a permanent deal for popular on-loan Torino centre-back Pontus Jansson, saying only that the club “understand that there’s a clamour” for Jansson to sign full-time, but he said contract talks were ongoing with youngsters Alex Mowatt and Lewie Coyle, both of whom have deals to the end of this season.
“We’re in conversations with both agents and that will continue,” Mansford said. “I think there’ll be a right time in terms of getting it done.”
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