Leeds United v Birmingham City: Monk - Radrizzani differences put aside

Garry Monk.
Garry Monk.
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FORMER Leeds United head coach Garry Monk says his differences with Whites chairman Andrea Radrizzani have been put aside ahead of Saturday's trip to Elland Road with Birmingham City.

Monk steered United to their joint highest-placed finish in six years back in 2016-17 as Leeds narrowly missed the play-offs in finishing seventh but Monk then resigned just two days after Radrizzani took full control of the club after buying out Massimo Cellino's 50 per cent share last May.

Monk then joined Middlesbrough the following month before being sacked in December and the 39-year-old is now preparing to take a second side back to Elland Road with fifth-bottom Birmingham's visit on Saturday afternoon.

Monk's Middlesbrough were consigned to a 2-1 defeat on the head coach's return to Elland Road last November as part of a season when United slumped to a disappointing 13th-placed finish with both Thomas Christiansen and Paul Heckingbottom hired and fired as head coach.

Monk now returns to Leeds with United top of the division and unbeaten under Argentinian head coach Marcelo Bielsa - described as a "hugely talented manager" by Monk who believes his former club are now well on course for a return to the Premier League.

“I have not been surprised at all, as I have always said, I have got fantastic memories there,” Monk told the Birmingham Mail.

“I am really proud of and enjoyed the work that we were doing there.

“When I went there it was very much a divided club, a lot of differences between everyone at the club and fans and I am very proud of the way we united that club again.

"The main part of that is it was the first time in a long time people were actually talking about what was going on - on the pitch. That hadn’t happened for a long time there.

“It’s a fantastic club, huge passionate support, really loyal fans.

"We know Elland Road is a really difficult place, I have experienced that bond with the fans, home games were very special and they have got that again.

“I have spoken to Andrea since I have departed, those differences have been put to the side now, whatever differences we had at the time.

“I think it’s fantastic for Andrea and the club, it’s good to see they decided this year is the year.

“They have invested heavily in the club, probably learned from the mistakes they made last year and Andrea has openly said that.

“They have invested well and have got a hugely talented manager, a lot of experience and that recipe is putting them back on that course for the Premier League."