Garry Monk sacked by Middlesbrough because of playing style
By Keith Downie, Sky Sports News North East Reporter
Last Updated: 24/12/17 1:36pm
Garry Monk was sacked by Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson because of concerns about the club's style of play, according to Sky sources.
Monk had just returned home from Saturday's 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday when he received a call from Gibson to tell him he had lost his job.
The former Swansea boss felt the nature of the comeback win proved the players were adapting to his style of management, having inherited a fractured dressing room following relegation from the Premier League last season.
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Monk also reasoned that the existing players were struggling to adapt after years of a rigid style drilled into them by predecessor Aitor Karanka.
Sky Sports News understands he held a meeting with the club hierarchy in midweek to discuss January transfer targets and was therefore shocked to receive the call from Gibson.
But SSN understands Gibson was not confident Monk would lead the club back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, leading him to terminate the 38-year-old's contract.
Monk, whose tenure was the shortest of any permanent Boro manager at 198 days, spent around £45m in the summer transfer window, including a club-record £15m on striker Britt Assombalonga.
That led to Gibson insisting Boro would "smash up" the Sky Bet Championship, but they have struggled to sustain a bid for the automatic promotion spots.
Middlesbrough have lost eight times already this season and sit in ninth place on 35 points, three points adrift of the play-off places.
The club's players trained on Sunday and will do so again on Christmas Day under the watchful eye of academy director Craig Liddle, who has been placed in temporary charge.
Liddle will be assisted by Jonathan Woodgate after Monk's assistant James Beattie and backroom staff were also sacked.
Liddle and Woodgate will take charge of the Boxing Day match with Bolton - unless a new man is appointed before then.