Monk awaits new contract but isn’t off to Norwich
Thursday, 27th Apr 2017 18:32 by Tim Whelan
It’s a bit worrying that the club still haven’t Garry Monk a new contract, but our head coach has dismissed speculation linking him with Norwich City.
When Monk was appointed last summer he was only offered a one year deal by Massimo Cellino, presumably to minimise the amount of compensation our famously unpredictable President would have had to pay out if he’d lost patience with his latest head coach after a few games. But the downside of a short deal is of course that it makes easier for other clubs to poach a head coach doing better than expected.
You would think that after the successful season we’ve nearly had, the club would have made a move by now to tie Monk down with a longer deal, so he and the board could start the preparations for next season as soon as possible. So it’s a bit worrying that they have yet to make an offer to extend Monk’s current contact beyond the end of June.
At today’s press conference Monk said “I have not spoken to the club about anything at all. The club said they want to sit down and talk in June and that's fine. I have to respect the club. We'll need to sit down and agree on plans to move forward.” Which is fine as far as it goes, but until a new deal is signed, he could be a target for any reasonably sized club who needs a new manager.
Saturday’s visitors Norwich are the latest to be said to be interested in Monk. At the start of the season they seemed to be contenders to bounce straight back to the Premiership, but a prolonged run of poor form saw the departure of manager Alex Neil in March. Alan Irvine has been in temporary charge since then and has overseen a modest upturn in results, but it’s by no means certain he’ll be offered the job on a permanent basis.
Hence the speculation that the Carrow Road mob could make a move for Monk if he should find himself out of contract. They have a squad that could challenge for promotion and finances in good shape thanks to Premier League parachute payments and capacity crowds at nearly every home game. And Leeds to Norfolk has been a well-worn path in recent years, although Johnny Howson is the only remaining old boy who is still playing for Delia.
But today Monk dismissed this speculation and insisted he’s concentrating on the job in hand. “It's the same type of rumours that have been around these past couple of months. It's not my focus at all. I'm focussed on these two games, and especially this game on Saturday. That's all I care about - making sure that we can give ourselves the best opportunity to go into that last game (at Wigan) with a chance.”
His only comments about the Canaries were centred on Saturday’s game. "Norwich are a really experienced and talented squad. You can see, at this moment in time, they're playing with freedom which comes at this stage of the season where they're not playing for anything. They're always going to be a dangerous side but it's about us. It's about what we do and we want to finish at Elland Road this season on a real high."
Indeed we do, and despite the fact Leeds have run out of steam at the wrong time this season, most Leeds fans would like to see Monk kept on, even if we don’t manage to scrape back into the play-offs in the last two games. So let’s hope the board manage to get their act together in time to avoid the search for yet another head coach during the summer.
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