By Joe Nelson

Ian Holloway has insisted that Garry Monk could lead Leeds United to a “magnificent season” if he is given the freedom to implement his style of play.

Holloway has praised Leeds recently, insisting that they can be dark horses this season and could challenge for a play-offs spot. 

The side from Yorkshire finished 13th last season, but the former Crystal Palace, QPR and Blackpool boss tipping them for a sixth-placed finish.

In his preview of Leeds’ Championship curtainraiser this weekend, Holloway went even further in his praise of the new man in the dugout.

“The future of Leeds United is Garry Monk.” Holloway wrote in his Sky Sports Column. “If he is given the freedom to inject the same philosophy he used at Swansea, then Leeds could have a magnificent season.

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“He has a fantastic ability to educate players about how to pass and play. I’m sure the Leeds players will enjoy his methods.”

Despite the confidence in the new boss, Holloway has predicted a close encounter in Leeds’ opening game of the season at Loftus Road, where they will take on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Queens Park Rangers.

Holloway has claimed in his column for the Sky Sports website that Gary Monk will start life at Leeds with a 1-1 draw away to the West London club.

Monk has already been busy at Leeds, with seven additions to the squad so far this summer after Pablo Hernandez’s recent arrival.

In other Leeds news, an eighth signing of the summer may not be far behind as a deal is close to being done.