Garry Monk attacks 'disloyal' Pep Clotet ahead of Sheffield Wednesday v Birmingham City

Garry Monk and Pep Clotet (right) in conversation during their time together at Birmingham City
Garry Monk and Pep Clotet (right) in conversation during their time together at Birmingham City
Have your say

Garry Monk has labelled his long-time assistant Pep Clotet disloyal after replacing him at Swansea City.

READ MORE - Why Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven Fletcher cannot wait to get back into action

The Spaniard worked with Monk at Swansea City, Leeds United and Birmingham City, before succeeding him as caretaker head coach at St Andrew's after he was sacked by text in the summer.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Monk spoke warmly of the Blues players and supporters ahead of this week's game at Hillsborough, but there is no love lost with Clotet.

"In terms of the interim/caretaker/head coach, whatever he is, I don't speak with him,” Monk said bluntly ahead of Wednesday's Championship match. “What's most important to me when I'm assembling a staff is to give them an opportunity and show them complete trust, and you hope that they repay that trust with hard work and loyalty.

"Sadly not everyone has those values in their character. Some choose to pursue their own opportunities in the worst possible way.

"Unfortunately, I didn't listen to a lot of people within football circles who warned me about the type of character he is. That's an error of judgement from myself.

“Anything in life you live and learn.

“It's a mistake on my behalf and one I have to learn from and move on from.”

Monk spent 15 months at Birmingham, leading them to five wins from 11 matches in 2017-18 to save them from Championship relegation.

Despite a summer transfer embargo and a nine-point deduction for breaking the Championship's “profit and sustainability” rules, they avoided relegation the following season, only for Monk to lose his job. Chief executive Xuandong Renwas later claimed the decision was reached because of unhappiness with Monk's playing style and his use of agent James Featherstone in all transfers. The manager was unhappy at the sale of Jota to Aston Villa.

Despite that, his comments about the club as a whole were favourable.

“A lot of those players (still at the club) were players I had with me when I was there and I can't speak highly enough of them,” he said. “Of course I'm fully invested in Sheffield Wednesday and my focus is on them but when I reflect on my time there, it was fantastic memories. Those players gave me a lot.

“When you go into a club under a serious threat of relegation and the implications of that relegation would have been much more serious than anyone thought at the time, with the impending embargo and points deduction.

“The feeling between the players and the fans were that they were dead and buried, so to galvanise that, bring those players back on track and get safe very, very well, and fans buying into that was fantastic. But those players were so committed, I've got so much respect for them and massive respect for the fanbase.

“As a manager I can only control what I can control. Having gone from a real massive possibility of a really serious situation and got them out of that, of course you want to carry it on but those decisions are out of your hands.

“My relationship with the fans and the players will always be strong.

“I'll be honest about it, it hurt me to leave that club after all the work I'd put in.

“When you receive that text that you've been terminated, it's hugely disappointing after all that work.”

Monk has been working to bring James Beattie – another regular member of his coaching staff - from St Andrew's. That is no nearer to happening, according to Monk.

“James Beattie, last time I was aware he's been working from home for the last two months,” he said.

Later in the day, Birmingham's official Twitter account tweeted: “We tried to find comments from our 'Interim Caretaker Head Coach' speaking without class about tomorrow's game. We couldn't.”