By Coral Barry

Garry Monk revealed it was a relief to meet all of his Leeds players and has urged his squad to make the most of pre-season.

The Leeds players returned to Elland Road on Monday as they kicked off their pre-season with Monk’s first training session as manager.

Monk took over from Steve Evans earlier in the summer and admitted he was pleased to see his new players were as eager as him to get down to the hard work straight away.

“It’s been good to finally meet them all,” said Monk speaking to the club website. “I’ve met a few of them in recent weeks but it’s good to finally see them all and have them in together.

“They all seem in good condition – they’ve come back with a good attitude, which is important, and we’ve got to work straight away.

“Preparation is key, making sure pre-season is looked after and organised and everyone knows where they’re at and what they’re doing.

“Every day counts. Every day we’re covering certain elements that players will need to use, whether that’s physically, tactically or generally in a sense of football.

“It’s important that every day they’re in the place, they’re getting the right information to go forward.”

Leeds kick off their Championship season against QPR on 7 August and will be hoping to mount a play-off push this season.

The Whites finished 13th in the league last campaign after spending a majority of the first half of the season trying to shake off relegation fears.

Monk is expected to make changes to his side this summer with Kyle Bartley linked with a reunion with his former manager at Elland Road.

Several first team players are entering the final year of their contract including young stars Lewis Cook and Charlie Taylor and Leeds will be keen to tie down their regular first teamers now that they have returned from the summer break.

Ahead of a summer of possible change at the club, Monk outlined what he wants from his players.

“There’s also the need – football-wise – to work tactically and get up to speed with our ideas. It’s not about overloading them but we want to make it very clear this is how we want to approach the season.

“The players have been great with their attitude. Pre-season is hard, there’s no getting away from it – it’s meant to be that way to get you in the best shape possible and also to get your football knowledge, your way of working and the plan that I have as clear as possible.”

In other Leeds news, a Whites defender has given the club a boost ahead of the new season.