Home win essential as uncertainty surrounds Sheffield Wednesday

GARRY MONK wants his Sheffield Wednesday side to show a winning mentality at home, with the threat of a points deduction still hanging over their heads ahead of their final game of the season against Middlesbrough.

Making his point: Owls second half substitute Atdhe Nuhiu after scoring two goals. Picture: Steve Ellis

The Owls manager declined to comment on the EFL investigation into alleged breaches of ‘Profit and Sustainability’ rules by the club, following defeat at Fulham. Monk expects Boro to come out fighting with their Championship status yet to be secured after they lost 3-1 to Cardiff.

Wednesday are eight points clear of the bottom three heading into their final fixture but are the lowest scorers at home, netting just 18 times in 22 games. Just five teams have a worse points record on their own ground.

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“I’ve said to the players that nothing is acceptable but three points. The main reason is our home form and that we owe it to ourselves and our fans,” said Monk.

Spot on: Atdhe Nuhiu scores from the penalty spot. Picture: Steve Ellis

“We have to finish at home with a win and three points. No matter the situation, we need three points. That is the mentality I expect to see. We are going to play against a team who are desperate for the points.

“We need three points regardless, I am not going to comment on the situation, I don’t know anything on that side of it.”

Fulham led 3-0 at half-time thanks to two goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic and a strike from Neeskens Kebano.

Atdhe Nuhiu pulled a goal back from the penalty spot four minutes into the second half but the game was essentially put out of the visitors’ reach when Kebano drilled a free-kick under the Wednesday wall on 73 minutes.

No joy: Sheffield Wednesday's Adam Reach and Jacob Murphy appear dejected after the final whistle. Picture: PA

Jacob Murphy’s deflected shot reduced the deficit five minutes later and Nuhiu’s second gave the visitors’ hope before Harrison Reed found the bottom corner.

“If you score three goals away from home you would expect to get a result,” lamented Monk. “However, whilst getting those goals, we compounded it with very, very cheap and poor defending.”

It is the third time since the turn of the year Wednesday have conceded five goals in a game and Monk has vowed to make changes, insisting: “I have a good idea what I want to do with the squad and I am very hopeful the club will help me with that.”

Fulham: Rodak, Christie, Ream, Hector, Johansen (Reed 68), Le Marchand, Knockaert (Sessegnon 90), Arter (Odoi 90), Onomah (Cairney 79), Kebano (Reid 79), Mitrovic. Unused substitutes: Bettinelli, Mawson, McDonald, Bryan.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Iorfa, Lees, Borner, Odubajo (Murphy 46), Luongo (Reach 75), Pelupessy (Hunt 79), Bannan, Harris, Windass (Wickham 46), Da Cruz (Nuhiu 46). Unused substitutes: Palmer, Rhodes, Dawson, Waldock.

Referee: D England (South Yorkshire).