Leeds United boss Garry Monk praises Marcus Antonsson's toughness

The Swedish striker played through a rib injury and is pushing for first-team football.

Leeds United boss Garry Monk has been singing the praises of tough Swedish striker Marcus Antonsson for his efforts this season – despite an injury to his ribs earlier in the campaign.

The striker, signed from Kalmar in the summer, told Barometern in his homeland about his injury problem earlier this month, stating:

“I went and was in pain for two weeks and when I X-rayed it turned out to be four broken ribs. I had pain and difficulty traveling at me from the couch. Clearly it was not good.”

Marcus Antonsson of Leeds United in action withMarcus Antonsson of Leeds United in action with

The Leeds boss said to the Yorkshire Evening Post that he knew about this and that he was pleased with Antonsson for playing through the pain barrier – although seemed to suggest that broken ribs might have been an exaggeration:

“He had a knock on his ribs – it was a while back – but he had a kick to the ribs or a nudge to the ribs.

“But it’s a man’s sport, you get on with it.

“And part of what I wanted to bring here was a toughness as well.

“I don’t allow anything soft. Of course I don’t put any players at risk and of course I am always mindful of that but we don’t allow anything soft here.

Blackburn's Jason Lowe and Leeds' Marcus Antonsson in actionBlackburn's Jason Lowe and Leeds' Marcus Antonsson in action

“We try and promote that here as part of what we do and Marcus has played through it.”

Antonsson played just ten days after the incident and has certainly proved himself tough enough to wear the white.

However, he is not playing as much as he would like at present.

But Monk is clearly happy with the Swede’s fighting spirit, which was exemplified in midweek with a hat-trick whilst playing for the Leeds United under-23 side. He told the YEP:

Leeds United's Marcus Antonsson celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goalLeeds United's Marcus Antonsson celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal

“It’s good. Their job is to be competitive and be ready and Marcus is a fantastic lad.

“But they understand that not everyone can play every game, they have to be ready when they are called upon.

“Marcus showed that clearly with his performance in the week and I thought it was important for those players that played to get minutes on the pitch so that they are ready.

Leeds manager Garry MonkLeeds manager Garry Monk

“Marcus is exactly like the others, they understand where they are, they understand what they are fighting for and it’s their job to be ready when that opportunity comes.”

Antonsson is currently having to play second fiddle to number one striker Chris Wood, with the Kiwi striker in exceptional form.

But if he can continue to put up the fight he has so far, then minutes will not be in short supply at Monk’s Leeds United.

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