Garry Monk

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Report: Middlesbrough, Pulis in talks over vacant coaching position

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It seems as though Middlesbrough isn’t wasting any time in its managerial search just under 24 hours after the club fired its coach.

Sky Sports is reporting that Boro are in active discussions with Tony Pulis regarding the club’s vacant coaching position.

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Pulis, 59, last managed Premier League side West Bromwich Albion before being sacked in November. The former Bristol Rovers defender has managed eight different English sides throughout his career as a coach.

Former manager Garry Monk was sacked by Middlesbrough on Saturday, after leading the club to ninth place in the Championship through 23 matches.

Monk had taken the job at the Riverside Stadium back in June, following Aitor Karanka‘s departure.

At the moment, Middlesbrough is a mere three points out of sixth place in England’s second flight.

Championship managers spark brawl amid celebrations of late winner

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Huddersfield Town and Leeds United met at Kirklees Stadium in an enormous fixture with playoff implications, as the teams came into the match in fifth and fourth respectively.

Needless to say, there was plenty of tension throughout the game with so much on the line. Isaiah Brown and Chris Wood had first-half goals that canceled out, with the score locked at 1-1 until Michael Hefele bagged an 89th minute winner for the hosts.

Kirklees Stadium lit up, and Huddersfield manager David Wagner went springing 50 yards from the far touchline to celebrate with his team. With the celebrations done, Wagner hustled back to his technical area, but not before Leeds manager Garry Monk stepped in his way and the two collided.

Wagner was incensed, and there was a confrontation, with the benches clearing and a brawl broke out with plenty of pushing and shoving. Monk clearly knew what he was doing, as he stared right at Wagner for a good two seconds before the coming together. Here’s video of the incident from the stands.

All told, both managers were sent to the stands and five yellow cards were handed out to players involved in the melee. Huddersfield held on to win, pushing them up to fourth while Leeds is a point behind in fifth, both still in playoff positions.

Death, taxes, and things getting weird in the Championship.

Familiar names: Monk, Coyle, Di Matteo take over Championship sides

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Three very different journeys have taken former Premier League managers back to English football, as Garry Monk, Roberto Di Matteo, and Owen Coyle are headed to Championship clubs.

After quitting Houston Dynamo last week, Coyle has found a home at Blackburn Rovers. It’s the 49-year-old’s third stop since his firing from Bolton in 2012.

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Di Matteo won a Champions League-FA Cup double for Chelsea before spending time at Schalke. He’ll take the reigns at Aston Villa as owner Tony Xia looks to boost the Midlands club directly back to the Premier League.

A surprise hiring at Swansea City following the firing of Michael Laudrup, Monk had a strong start to his career as a manager before being fired early this year. The 37-year-old Monk is the latest hire at Leeds United, a club that had seen 7 men at the helm since April 2013.

The Championship will be some story to follow next year, with that well-known trio joining Rafa Benitez, Alex Neil, Chris Hughton and Steven Caldwell as second-tier bosses. Promotion is not a certainty for any club.

Swansea interim manager Alan Curtis says he would accept demotion

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Swansea City hired longtime servant Alan Curtis to guide the club to safety while they look for the right man for the job long term. It hasn’t quite worked out the way they’d hoped out of the gates. The Swans have fallen into the relegation zone with their 4-2 home loss to Sunderland, marking three league matches without a win.

Curtis, who has been with the club as a player or staff member for nearly 40 years, understands that the good of the club is what he cares about the most, even if it means he must step down.

“I’d expect to be here until the end of the season,” Curtis said, “but if results go against us and the club deem it that they need to bring someone in at short notice, then so be it. I’ve got no sort of vanity (that I must) be here until the end of the season.”

Curtis, having been with the club for so long, can’t seem to fathom the idea of going down, and will do whatever it takes to avoid that, even so far as to give up his own job.

“I can’t contemplate [relegation]. We have to find a way,” Curtis said. “If you analyse the six games the performances have been good, and the win over West Brom was the least impressive. From those games we could have had an extra six or seven points at least, which would have given us a huge lift, and we’d be far more relaxed about our prospects for the rest of the season. But where we are now we need a change of fortune and the only way you can do that is keep believing in what you’re doing. The players certainly still have that belief. I’ve always said our style will be the thing that will save us or take us down, but I don’t want to think about that.”

Swansea has just two wins since beating Manchester United in August. Garry Monk was fired in early December, and Curtis has been in charge since on an interim basis.

Swansea caretaker Alan Curtis: Staff, players let down Garry Monk

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Garry Monk helped lead Swansea City from the fourth-tier of English football to the Premier League as the club’s captain and center-back for ten seasons.

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He was then promoted to manager and helped guide the club to its best-ever campaign last season, finishing eighth in the Premier League with a record points tally.

However, the Swans’ struggles early this season saw Monk fired from his position on Wednesday, ending his long tenure with the Welsh club.

Alan Curtis, who has taken over as Swansea’s caretaker boss, said many around the club feel they have let down Monk this year.

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Curtis, who himself made more than 350 appearances for Swansea before returning as a coach after retiring, said Monk’s history with the growth of the club has made his departure harder to take.

We are all used to managers leaving because sadly that has always been part of the game. But Garry’s departure seemed a lot more personal to everyone because he has been at the club so long, together with [former coach] Kristian O’Leary.

We all feel, staff and players, that we have let him down and we want to go a small way to rectifying that on Saturday.

Some may say it’s too late because Garry’s already gone, but we also have a massive duty and responsibility to the club and our supporters.

Monk was revered at Swansea, and over his time in charge saw his stock rise as one of the brightest young English managers in the game. However, with the club sitting just one point above the drop, the board believed it was time to make a change.

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The 36-year-old will certainly get another chance to manage in the Premier League, but Swansea must now move forward without him. It will be a tough task for the caretaker Curtis to get the club back on track this weekend, as they travel to the Etihad for a match against Manchester City.