Patience the key for under-fire Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY manager Garry Monk is confident that he retains the backing of owner Dejphon Chansiri – but admits that his patience will not be infinite.

The Owls are in the midst of a dreadful and worrying post-Christmas slump and have won just once in their past 10 Championship outings to pile the pressure on Monk ahead of his first return to Birmingham City following his sacking last June.

In third place on December 25, Wednesday now find themselves in 12th spot, with fans also fearful that any potential points deduction if they are found guilty of misconduct over the sale of Hillsborough could plunge them into relegation trouble if their form does not improve quickly.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

For his part, Monk – who handled a difficult brief at St Andrew’s last season with aplomb – remains confident in his own ability to transform Wednesday’s fortunes over time and believes that many supporters are wise to the notion that the rebuilding job at S6 is a long-term one.

But he accepts results must improve in the short term for him to retain the support of Chansiri and the bulk of the club’s fanbase.

Monk, who could welcome back top-scorer Steven Fletcher from a knee injury tomorrow afternoon, said: “Of course. I am in constant conversation with the owner and we are in constant dialogue.

“I think he understands certain aspects of the job and what we are trying to do here and other situations. He has been very supportive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Of course I understand these situations. But I cannot afford in the world I live in to continuously not win games.

UNDER PRESSURE: Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk. Picture: Steve EllisUNDER PRESSURE: Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk. Picture: Steve Ellis
UNDER PRESSURE: Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk. Picture: Steve Ellis | Steve Ellis.16.High Thorns.Silkstone.Barnsley.S75 4HE.Tel 01226-791662…[email protected]

“But in terms of support from the chairman, it has been fantastic in terms of what I am trying to go through, what the club is going through and those players and he understands it.

“But we need to get results on the pitch, I understand that, whether there is support or not.

“And that is what I am trying to focus on and take care of.

“I think they (fans) can see it. There is no hiding place. Fans are not stupid – they see things and everyone at the club recognises it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
SUPPORT: Sheffield Wednesday owner, Dejphon Chansiri. Picture: Steve EllisSUPPORT: Sheffield Wednesday owner, Dejphon Chansiri. Picture: Steve Ellis
SUPPORT: Sheffield Wednesday owner, Dejphon Chansiri. Picture: Steve Ellis | Steve Ellis Photography.Barnsley. All rights reserved

“I need to take care of what is my responsibility which is results and that has not been good enough. I am determined as ever.”

Tomorrow sees Monk make his first return to St Andrew’s following his axing last summer and while he is unsure regarding what reception he will receive from Blues supporters, he is unequivocal that he has now ‘moved on’ following his stinging criticism of former assistant and current Blues head coach Pep Clotet.

Ahead of the club’s 1-1 draw in November, Monk criticised Clotet’s character and did not take up the offer to shake his hand before the kick-off after speaking of a breakdown in trust with the Spaniard.

Clotet, who previously assisted Monk at Leeds and Swansea, has pledged to try and shake the hand of Monk tomorrow.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
WORLDS APART: Garry Monk, left, and assistant manager Pep Clotet, during their time at Birmingham City. Picture: Simon Cooper/PAWORLDS APART: Garry Monk, left, and assistant manager Pep Clotet, during their time at Birmingham City. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA
WORLDS APART: Garry Monk, left, and assistant manager Pep Clotet, during their time at Birmingham City. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA | PA Wire

Monk said: “I do not need to revisit that, I said what I felt was honest and open and I move on. I have bigger things and more important things to focus on than that situation.

“That is a situation between myself and him. I am my own judge on what I feel is right and wrong and I spoke about what I felt I wanted to say (before). All I can say about that club is that I loved my time there.

“It was brilliant. I had a fantastic relationship with everyone there, the fans and the players and all that side of it.

“I have nothing but brilliant memories, and we went through a really difficult period and came out of the other side of it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Nothing will ever deter from that. It will always have a big place in my heart.”

Monk will assess the fitness of 12-goal Fletcher – out since early January – today, with Morgan Fox also in the mix to return following an ankle issue.

Meanwhile, Monk has clarified the situation with out-of-favour goalkeeper Keiren Westwood, whose last first-team appearance was back on November 23.

Earlier this week, Westwood felt compelled to respond to criticism of him from some supporters on social media and also dismissed rumours of a bust-up with Monk.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On Westwood’s absence, Monk said: “Keiren is injured now and the way I look at all those things, I do not judge people on what they have done in the past.

“The past is the past. We are in the here and now. We can all do a CV and write down what we think they can and cannot do on what he has done in the past.

“He has had quite a few injuries in my period here. I have had no continuity with him and that is what we are searching for, especially in that position.

“In terms of the conversations I have had with him personally, there has been no fall-out, I have told him where he stands and the reasons behind what I think should be done.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Monk also spoke of fitness issues being at the heart of his decision not to pick Sam Hutchinson.

“Sam is similar to Keiren. The availability that he has had and that continuity has not been there,” the Owls chief added.

“I have had conversations with Sam and been clear. It is a similar situation in terms of injuries and pick-ups and continuity. It is simply not there.

“I cannot afford that. I need reliability in terms of (players) being available and being ready and understanding that it needs to come continually.”