Five issues facing Garry Monk at Leeds United

Date published: Friday 3rd June 2016 12:16

Garry Monk: Plenty of issues for new Leeds United boss to address

Garry Monk: Plenty of issues for new Leeds United boss to address

Garry Monk says he is relishing the challenge of reviving Leeds’ fortunes after being installed as the club’s seventh head coach under Italian owner Massimo Cellino, but he has plenty to do at Elland Road between now and the start of next season.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses five of the most pressing issues.

1. APPOINT BACKROOM STAFF

Monk, 37, must quickly assemble his backroom support team at Elland Road.

Predecessor Steve Evans and assistant Paul Raynor departed Leeds on Tuesday and Monk has confirmed he hopes to team back up with Pep Clotet, with whom he worked at the Liberty Stadium and who followed him out of the club when he was sacked last December.

Spaniard Clotet, who has managed Espanyol B, Halmstad and Malaga B, was linked with the managerial vacancy at Nottingham Forest in April.

Former Everton and Southampton striker James Beattie, in the frame for the then vacant job at Peterborough in April, worked with Monk at Swansea as did the club’s former midfielder Kristian O’Leary.

2. KEEP ON RIGHT SIDE OF CELLINO

Cellino has dispensed with six other managers since completing his protracted takeover at Elland Road in April 2014 with his treatment of Brian McDermott, Neil Redfearn and Evans in particular drawing heavy criticism from a large section of fans.

Cellino brought with him from Italy a reputation for meddling in team affairs and has done little to quell the rumours that he cannot resist from trying to exert his influence on the playing squad.

The fiery Italian went public in his stinging criticism of McDermott, Redfearn, who he labelled a “cry-baby”, and Evans who he claimed “talked too much”.

Monk already has Premier League managerial experience and early indications from fans are that if he is left to get on with the job he could be the one to turn Leeds into promotion contenders.

3. IDENTIFY KEY TRANSFER TARGETS

Former head coach Evans made no secret of his intentions to sign a proven goalscorer and a highly-rated striker is perhaps top of Monk’s shopping list.

Number one forward Chris Wood was injured for much of last season and Leeds lacked an end product in the absence of the Kiwi, whose injury woes were compounded when he recently dislocated a shoulder while in action for New Zealand.

A commanding centre-half – or two – has to be another priority for the new head coach. Giuseppe Bellusci was prone to too many howlers last season – he has been linked with a return to Italy – while Sol Bamba is not the player he once was and also struggled for consistency. Liam Cooper established himself in the starting line-up last season but needs more support and competition at the heart of defence.

Leeds have lacked a ball-winning midfielder for several seasons now and consistent wide players have also proved elusive and will be a priority for Monk.

4. PRE-SEASON TOUR AND SUMMER FRIENDLIES

Bamba confirmed early last month that Leeds’ players would learn by text when to return for pre-season training at Thorp Arch and no date has yet been confirmed by the club.

Monk and his staff must move quickly to arrange pre-season friendlies while a summer tour has yet to be announced.

Uwe Rosler was in charge last June when the club travelled for a summer camp in Austria and a mini-tour of Norway. The German was sacked the following October.

5. KEEP YOUNG PLAYERS AT THE CLUB

Teenage midfielder Lewis Cook, the Championship’s young player of the year last season, signed a new two-year deal last month and will remain at Elland Road until at least the summer of 2017.

Evans revealed towards the end of last season the club were also in talks with fellow midfielder Alex Mowatt and defender Charlie Taylor about extending their current deals, with both players heading into the final years of their contracts.

Sam Byram was sold to West Ham for £3.7million in January with only six months left on his contract.

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