Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday – Smart-thinking will allow Garry Monk to plan for Owls’ future better

AFTER spending valuable family time with his loved ones in high summer last year, Garry Monk is not being afforded that precious luxury this time around.

PLANNING AHEAD: Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk. Picture: Steve Ellis
PLANNING AHEAD: Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk. Picture: Steve Ellis

Football’s truncated calendar following its hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic means that the regular Championship season will not finish until nine days before the start of August – traditionally the month when a new campaign would start.

It is unprecedented times for the game and for managers across the country, leisure and relaxation will be in short supply, despite the absence of games next month. More especially for Monk, whose in-tray is full.

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It is a far cry from last year’s school holidays. Monk – between jobs after being sacked by Birmingham in June 2019 – took time out to recharge, but the pangs for a return to management following a sunshine holiday with his family soon resurfaced.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk talks to his players during a water breakin theChampionship clash at Swansea City. Picture: Steve Ellis

By his own admission, the Owls chief soon started get under the feet of his wife Lexy after finding himself out of football for the first time in close to half a century.

Upon being unveiled at Hillsborough last September, Monk quipped that after being ‘the best dad in the world’ for three to four weeks, his thoughts soon turned to when his children would be going back to school.

There may be no competitive matches in August this year, but Monk will probably be as busy as he has ever been as he attempts to start overhauling Wednesday’s squad and fitting in a pre-season as he plans for the brave new world in 2020-21.

It is a challenge which he remains firmly up for and a time when he feels he can truly start to build a squad in his own image.

Monk observed: “There is a lot of work to be done and I have a good idea of what needs to be done and how I can do it.

“It will be a short turnaround and there has been discussion about certain dates, but nothing is concrete.

“The work will be under way as soon as that last ball is kicked. I am not expecting this transition to be done in this summer window. But if we can work smartly, we can get some good bits of business done and help the squad.

“There have been chats about (next season starting) dates which are flying around, some are earlier and some later and we are trying to prepare if it is a shorter date or a later date.

“We are trying to put that in place so we are organised. So there will not be any holiday for me and it will be straight to work, but if you want to make a success of it and do well, you must have that work ethic, so it is no problem whatsoever.”

In what has been a troubled and transitional year for the Owls, Monk has detected signs of some toughness amid adversity, especially after football’s return and it is something that he knows that his squad will need more of in the months ahead.

He added: “We have come back stronger within.

“There is a different attitude with in the group now and we will hopefully improve that in the summer with the transition and strengthen that mentality and have a fresh approach for next season.”

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