Monk says he has no respect for former assistant Clotet

Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk said he had no respect for former assistant Pep Clotet after a 1-1 Sky Bet Championship draw against Birmingham at Hillsborough.

Monk had revealed in his pre-match press conference that he is no longer on speaking terms with former assistant Clotet, who took over from Monk as interim head coach at St Andrews when the latter was sacked in June.

Clotet had previously worked with Monk at Swansea and Leeds before the duo teamed up again at Birmingham in March 2018.

Monk refused to shake Clotet’s hand both before and after the game, with the Spaniard also unhappy post-match at the deterioration of their relationship.

On the pitch, Alvaro Gimenez opened the scoring after 48 minutes but Kadeem Harris equalised late on to earn the hosts a point.

Asked about his comments before the game, which Clotet suggested may have been mind games, a clearly emotional Monk said: “I wasn’t making accusations, I was speaking facts.

“That’s what it is. I wish it wasn’t true. I have to stay consistent and true to myself. Ask anyone who’s ever worked with me: I’m honest and open so why shouldn’t I stay true to myself?

“I had nothing to gain from that. I understand the reaction. I know those (Birmingham) fans very well, I know how passionate they are for that club.

“Of course, I could not answer it and divert from it and not get involved in it. I get that. But ask anyone I’ve worked with or played with or managed, that’s who I am. Why shouldn’t I be open and honest? I’m speaking facts.”

Asked if he could elaborate on why he was angry with Clotet, Monk added: “It’s difficult for me to just say that. Not because I don’t want to but I want to respect those fans. I can’t respect – it’s a personal situation.

“It’s nothing against that club, it’s someone I invested a hell of a lot of time with and classed as a friend. He chose to do a different thing in the worst possible way and that cuts deep. I don’t respect that – you don’t respect me, so why should I respect you? That’s the reason I didn’t shake his hand.”

The home side started strongly and Steven Fletcher wasted a golden opportunity in the 17th minute when his heavy touch cost him a clear sight of goal after excellent build-up play from Massimo Luongo and Morgan Fox.

Kieran Lee and Moses Odubajo also went close before half-time but the Owls were quickly made to pay for their profligacy after the break when Jeremie Bela’s low cross from the right was turned in by Gimenez.

Harris wasted a glorious chance to equalise when he fired into the side-netting but made amends nine minutes from time after Birmingham’s defence stood off and he fired low into the corner.

In a frenetic finish, Blues pair Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marc Roberts both cleared off their own line from corners but Wednesday could not find a winner.

Clotet insisted that he had always put Monk first during their time working together.

“At the end of the day I’m speaking on behalf of my club, so I have to be respectful of everything I say,” he said.

“We had five fantastic years. I think he grew thanks to my experience and he helped me a lot as well.

“Everyone knows I’ve worked for four different clubs and they all know my values – I put the manager’s interests before mine and the club’s interests before mine. With Garry, all those five years together, I put his interests in front of mine.

“I have nothing to say because everything that we lived together was very positive and I hope when we speak to the media we act professionally and we should be speaking about facts.

“I wanted to ask him why he said that and I wanted my handshake – one thing I love from British football – whatever the rivalry, whatever the game or derby, manners are on top of everything. When I try to talk to him and give him my hand, I give him the hand of Birmingham City.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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