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Garry Monk on creating the right environment at Blues

Maikel Kieftenbeld
Maikel Kieftenbeld

It’s about creating the right environment for these players, that togetherness and that spirit. We look after each other, from the terraces to the team.

Garry Monk

Blues Manager Garry Monk has spoken for the first time about Maikel Kieftenbeld’s serious knee injury.

The Dutch midfielder is due to undergo surgery on Monday to repair a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Kieftenbeld could be out of action for up to nine months.

The Club have announced that, as a sign of faith and show of support, it is looking to activate his year’s option in his contract, which is due to expire in the summer of 2020.

“I haven’t gone into those (contract) details,” said Monk. “But that’s something we wanted to do and the Club wanted to do, have those discussions.

“We feel it’s the right thing to do. And it’s about creating the right environment for these players, that togetherness and that spirit.

“We look after each other, from the terraces to the team. I think it’s a sign of that change of mentality this season, that change of approach possibly.

“It’s the right thing to do. Hopefully Maikel will be delighted with that but the most important thing is that he is looked after. He has given us a lot this season and he always will moving forward.”

Kieftenbeld suffered the damage early into the second-half during the 1-0 win over Leeds United.

“It’s a hard one,” said Monk, who made sure he spent time with Kieftenbeld post-match in the treatment room adjoining Blues dressing room before conducting his debrief and speaking to the media.

“He’s been such a big part of it this season for us. I have been through those injuries myself and it’s a tough one to take.

“The main message to him was that as soon as you can accept what has happened and focus on what needs to be done – which he will do, he’s a really good professional, the type of lad who will do the rehab properly – then that’s important.

“The key is the rehab. How you approach it, the mentality you do it with. That’s the key to coming back.

“We are all gutted for him, if I’m honest. As I have said, they’re a really close-knit group. After Leeds, we had just beaten them, in the changing room there was quite a sombre feeling. That shows how much they respect each other and fight for each other.

“The operation will hopefully be on Monday. He has already seen the specialist. He’s happy, we’re all happy and it is planned for Monday. Hopefully that gets done and we can all get on with his rehab.”

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