By Tom Blackburn

Noel Whelan has called on Leeds owner Massimo Cellino to lay off Garry Monk and allow him to manage the team as he sees fit.

Whelan revealed he is a big admirer of the new Elland Road boss, who replaced Steve Evans earlier in the summer.

In his column in the Yorkshire Evening Post, the former Leeds striker, who is now a matchday co-commentator for all the club’s matches for BBC Radio Leeds, urged Cellino to just simply be a chairman.

“Let’s just hope Massimo Cellino leaves him alone,” said Whelan. “I’ve always said from the beginning that he should just let the manager do his job.

“The chairman has a different role to play within the club and the playing and results side of things come down to the manager and the players. Everything else away from that is the chairman’s responsibility.”

Monk replaced Evans at the start of June just days after Cellino dismissed the 53-year-old Scot.

Monk, 37, led the Premier League Swansea to a record league points tally in the 2014-15 season but he was sacked in December 2015 after a dismal run of form. 

Cellino has become infamous for dismissing managers and Monk is the seventh manager appointed under the Italian since he took over the Championship club in April 2014.

In the column, Whelan backed Monk to get the best out of the Leeds squad and expects players to have a good relationship with the young manager.

“I was overjoyed when Garry Monk became our new head coach,” said Whelan. “Not only is he a manager that is English but he’s managed in the Premiership and he seems like a really good guy.

“And I just think he’s the right choice. I think he is the one that is going to get the best out of the players, he will relate to the players and the players will like him and want to work for him and I think that is massive.”

Monk has signed strike duo Kemar Roofe and Marcus Antonsson, goalkeeper Robert Green on a free transfer and brought winger Hadi Sacko, defender Kyle Bartley and midfielder Matt Grimes to the club on season-long loan deals before most recently signing Pablo Hernandez.

He has also publicly stated that he is still aiming to sign a few more players before the club’s Championship campaign gets underway on 6 August.

In other Leeds news, their former manager has indentified a must-signing for Monk this summer.