Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has urged his players not to “waste the chance” of promotion from the Championship.
The Owls were left stunned after an embarrassing 5-0 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
It was the heaviest defeat since Monk took charge in September, and saw the Owls – who went into the game in high spirits after away wins at Premier League side Brighton in the FA Cup and then Championship leaders Leeds United – drop out of the top six.
A shocking first half saw Wednesday trail 3-0 – midfielder Massimo Luongo was red carded after just 24 minutes – and thousands of angry Owls fans had left Hillsborough before Tony Mowbray’s visitors added two further goals in the second period.
But Monk – who admitted nobody at the club could shirk blame for Saturday’s woeful performance – believes his team can bounce back.
“For me as a manager, when you have a result like that, of course it’s not acceptable,” said Monk
It was a horrible day for all of us to be a part of.Garry Monk
“We will receive criticism for that, but we have to take it on the chin and take responsibility for that. Me as a manager, for sure, for that type of result and scoreline.
“It was a horrible day for all of us to be a part of.
“We will receive criticism, rightly so, and anger, we have to take responsibility for that.
“The only choice we have, is to come back in and understand there is a lot of teams going through it.
“The opportunity is still there and we have to come back fighting.
“We have to cut out the silly mistakes, and not waste the chance to build on the good things we have done.”
Defeat saw Wednesday drop to 10th in the Championship, 10 points behind second-placed Leeds United with 18 games remaining.
“I don’t think anyone could see that coming. It was a horrible, horrible day for us,” said Monk, who confirmed the Owls would appeal Luongo’s straight red card for a tackle on Blackburn’s Lewis Travis.
“It’s difficult to analyse straightaway,” added the Owls manager, “but the main problem for us, it seems to be two steps forward and one step back.”
Report: Page 4