By Alex Stevens
Pontus Jansson has delivered a ringing endorsement of Garry Monk to the Swedish media days after his shock omission from the Leeds team.
Manager Monk caused a stir when he omitted a fit and available Jansson from the starting XI for Saturday’s 2-0 Championship win against Brighton.
Jansson was benched, the error-prone Liam Cooper was recalled to partner Kyle Bartley at the back, and a rejigged defence also missing the suspended Luke Ayling kept another clean sheet to secure a memorable win.
Monk refused to go into details about the omission of the Sweden international, simply stating that he saw it as the best decision for the team on the day.
In turn, Jansson, who is on international duty, has refrained from taking the opportunity to have a public dig at the Leeds manager and, instead, gave a ringing endorsement of the 38-year-old’s management skills.
“He has made me mature as a person and player,” Jansson explained to Swedish outlet Sydsvenskan. “Made me understand about being a team player.”
Intriguingly, the 26-year-old explained how his time at Leeds was so different to his previous spells at Serie A club Italy and boyhood club Malmo.
The defender has been a mainstay of Leeds’ promotion-chasing side this season, starting 28 of their 38 Championship matches since joining from Torino initially on a season-long loan.
Jansson will be hoping for a recall when the promotion hopefuls, who rose to fourth in the Championship following their win over Brighton, are next in action against Reading on Saturday of next week.
In other Leeds team news, the Yorkshire giants are in shock talks to sign a Liverpool attacking player.