Monk gives detailed response to Leeds substitution controversy
By Emma Sanders
Garry Monk has defended his substitute decisions during Leeds’ 1-1 draw against Wigan Athletic by claiming they were spot-on.
Monk made the first of three changes after 65 minutes when his side were still leading in the game through Chris Wood’s 29th-minute strike.
However, Wigan were able to get themselves back into the game despite Monk’s changes and he was heavily criticised when his side lost two points as they settled for a 1-1 draw.
“You make those decisions for those reasons and they are always with the best intentions, with the correct knowledge and the understanding of where you feel the game is,” Monk said in his press conference, as reported by the Yorkshire Post.
“Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but I think when you actually look at the game, they didn’t have a shot on target in that last 20 minutes.
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“In terms of did it work? Well it did, apart from a set-piece. It’s like you are damned if you do or if you don’t.”
With 24 minutes left, Monk took off pacey winger Hadi Sacko for defensive-minded Matt Grimes before under-performing midfielder Alex Mowatt came on.
Pablo Hernandez was the man to come off for Mowatt in the number 10 role and Marcus Antonsson came on with five minutes left for goalscorer, Wood.
Leeds were hoping to record their fourth successive home victory but following the substitutions, which weren’t greatly supported, Wigan scored a 91st minute equaliser.
Shaun MacDonald hurt Leeds’ defence and there was no way of getting back into the game with Monk’s three best attacking options all off the pitch after being substituted.
Monk believes the changes were the right ones at the time though and is already looking ahead to next Saturday’s Championship clash against Wolves.
In the latest Leeds news, Monk gives a warning to fans travelling to Wolves.