Middlesbrough boss looks to freshen up squad for promotion push

New Boro boss Garry Monk
New Boro boss Garry Monk
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New boss Garry Monk says it is important to “freshen” Middlesbrough’s squad ahead of the new season.

The 38-year-old, who signed a three-year-contract at the Riverside with the order to get the club straight back into the Premier League, has already been linked with his former team.

It’s about the right goings and the right comings, that’s how it is


Monk is said to be preparing a move for Swansea City central defender Kyle Bartley.

The former Swansea manager signed thec 26-year-old on a season-long loan last season when he was in charge at Leeds.

It proved a successful association with Bartley making 50 appearances, even finding the net six times.

Monk, who might be needing a replacement for Ben Gibson, who looks destined for a move to a top Premier League side, says it is crucial Boro bring in new blood.

“Of course it needs freshening up a bit and I think the club are very clear on what they want to do and how they are going to go about it,” he said.

“It aligns with how I think.

“Like any season at any club, there will be comings and goings.

“It’s about the right goings and the right comings, that’s how it is.

“I think we’re going to work well at the club in terms of identifying the right players.

“We’ve already got to work on that, but it’s a process and it takes time.

“I have a very good idea of what I feel the group needs and the club have a very good idea of how to work like that.

“Over the coming weeks, I’m sure you’ll see the movements and how it’s going to work with the club here.”

Monk though reiterated that he is not looking to sell Gibson, who is the club’s major asset.

“One thing I know from experience is that it’s important to keep your best players,” he said.

“Ben is one of our most important players and it’s important that he stays and we keep him.

“It’s important we have that core of players and that we add what we need to add in and around.

“Of course there will be certain areas where it is obvious we need to help, but once we get into more in-depth discussions with the guys at the club, it’ll become clearer as we go along.”

Monk has come in with the title ‘manager’ rather than ‘head coach’, which Aitor Karanka had on his office door.

But the former Leeds boss says nothing should be read into it.

“Titles are titles,” he said. “When I look at myself, I’m a manager and I’m a coach.

“That’s my job, I do both things. My title? It doesn’t really matter to me.”