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The season of goodwill: Middlesbrough axe Garry Monk hours after victory

The former Swansea boss had only taken over during the summer.

Garry Monk is looking for a new job.
Garry Monk is looking for a new job.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

MIDDLESBROUGH SACKED MANAGER Garry Monk just hours after his Championship side’s 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Monk only took charge at Middlesbrough in June, but the former Swansea and Leeds boss was unable to mastermind the expected promotion challenge.

Middlesbrough, who won 10 of their 23 league games under Monk, are ninth in the second-tier table, three points behind Aston Villa, who occupy the final play-off place.

“Middlesbrough Football Club have parted company with manager Garry Monk,” the club announced in a statement following the come-from-behind win in Sheffield.

Monk managed Swansea in the Premier League between 2014 and 2015 before helping Leeds to a seventh-placed finish in the Championship last term.

He was unable to agree an extension to his stay at Leeds under new owner Andrea Radrizzani, leaving last May before swiftly taking up the reigns at Boro.

Middlesbrough had hoped to bid for automatic promotion under Monk, having been relegated from the Premier League in May.

But they are far adrift of that target and have reacted by relieving Monk of his position two days before Christmas.

“The club would like to thank Garry for all his hard work and dedication, and wish him all the best for the future,” the statement said.

“The club’s academy manager Craig Liddle will take temporary charge of first team affairs during the interim period while a successor is appointed.”

Middlesbrough’s first match without Monk is at home to Bolton on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Wolves have opened up a seven-point gap at the top of the Championship after they beat Ipswich Town 1-0 and Cardiff City lost 2-0 at Bolton Wanderers.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have been the standout side so far this season and they are showing no sign of slowing down, as they head into the festive period in confident fashion.

Bristol City were unable to build on their EFL Cup win over Manchester United with another victory, as they drew 1-1 at QPR, while Leeds United, 1-0 victors over Hull City, and Aston Villa hold on to their places in the top six, despite the latter relinquishing a 2-0 lead and ultimately drawing 2-2 with a Sheffield United side who had lost three in a row.

Towards the bottom of the table, Burton Albion pulled themselves out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Reading, securing victory late on through Tom Naylor.

Middlesbrough also benefited from some late drama at Sheffield Wednesday, scoring twice in the final 19 minutes to win 2-1 and inflict a third successive defeat on their hosts.

Derby County meanwhile recorded their fourth victory and fourth clean sheet in succession, beating Millwall 3-0 at home to close in on Cardiff.

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