By Alex Stevens
Neil Warnock delivered a glowing eulogy of Garry Monk in the wake of Leeds’ defeat to his Cardiff side on Saturday.
The Bluebirds manager hailed Monk as “manager of the year by a mile” after transforming the fortunes of a team that had been stuck in the Championship mid-table for many season before his arrival last summer.
Leeds came unstuck against Cardiff as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Elland Road, their fourth defeat in six matches in all competitions.
But Warnock, who knows Leeds well from managing the club for 14 months during his long and varied managerial career, called for perspective after Cardiff had put a dent in his former club’s promotion hopes.
“I’m pleased with how it’s gone for them,” the 68-year-old said, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post. “It wasn’t easy for Garry at the start of the season. They’ll move on again now and they’re not going to come up against us every week.
“I know they’re going home disappointed but they can’t forget where they’ve come from. They’ve got a vibrant, young side who had problems they couldn’t solve today but it’s an exciting place to be at the moment.
“Garry’s my manager of the year by a mile because I know what things are like here when it’s not going well. At the start of the year it was pretty horrible. Now they’ve got a stable club and bloody hell, it’s in a better state than it has been for many years.”
The Yorkshire giants remain fifth in the Championship table despite the defeat against Cardiff following a 2-1 setback six days earlier at Huddersfield.
Despite slipping 11 points behind leaders Newcastle, Monk’s side are still well established in the play-off positions and ended the weekend four points ahead of seventh-placed Norwich.
In total, Leeds have accumulated 54 points from 31 league matches and are next in action on Tuesday night when they host relegation strugglers Bristol City at Elland Road.
Veteran manager Warnock, 68, had a 14-month spell at Leeds that ended when he was sacked in April 2013 with the club five points off the relegation zone.