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15th Jan, 2017 | 12:30pm

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink: This senior Leeds man deserves credit for promotion push (not Monk)

By Will Butcher

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes controversial owner Massimo Cellino deserves credit for Leeds’ sparkling promotion push.

Leeds currently sit in third place in the Championship as Garry Monk continues to orchestrate his side’s magnificent run of form that has seen them win five of their last six league games.

Speaking to Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, Hasselbaink claimed Cellino deserves the plaudits for bringing Monk to Elland Road and giving him time despite a tricky start to the season.

“Cellino doesn’t get a lot of praise,” Hasselbaink said. “But bringing in Monk and having him there is vital, it’s a top signing.

“Monk has got them playing really well, despite a poor start. When you get that club going, they’re unstoppable. They’re a Premier League club.”

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Cellino, who is now a co-owner with countryman Andrea Radrizzani, is known to sack managers on a frequent basis. The likes of Darko Milanic, Dave Hockaday and Uwe Rosler were all axed by the former Cagliari chief.

However, the 60-year-old gave Monk time at Elland Road and it is beginning to pay off.

Now just six points away from an automatic promotion place after securing a 1-0 win against Steve McClaren’s Derby County on Friday night, Leeds will be dreaming of a top-flight return.

The Yorkshire giants have been absent from the Premier League for 13 seasons after their financial collapse saw them suffer relegation in 2004.

But former Swansea boss Monk has seen his side concede just two goals in their last six league games as he continues to mastermind his side’s wonderful form.

Hasselbaink, who played for Leeds between 1997 and 1999, is currently out of managerial work after being sacked by rivals QPR in November, leaving the Londoners in 17th place.

In other Leeds news, owner Radrizzani has confirmed that he will be looking to tie up this deal.

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