Nottingham Forest v Sheffield Wednesday: We are doing fantastic, but Owls want more, demands Garry Monk

As Jeremy Corbyn will testify a day is a long time in politics, so a year seems like a lifetime for Sheffield Wednesday.

Owls boss Garry Monk. Pic Steve Ellis

Twelve months ago the Owls lost 2-1 at Swansea City, to slump to 18th in the Championship – a result which proved the final nail in the coffin of manager Jos Luhukay.

A run of just one won in 10 games had seen the Dutchman axed at Hillsborough, and in the intervening year the likes of Lee Bullen (twice a caretaker boss), Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence, Steve Bruce and Garry Monk have been in the Owls dug-out.

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Under Luhukay, the Owls had picked up 24 points from 22 games, leaving them five points off relegation, but a whopping 15 points behind third-placed West Brom, and 21 points behind then leaders Leeds United who had 45 points.

Today, Wednesday sit eighth – nine points better off than this time last year, having played a game less, on 33 points – and just two points behind Fulham, who occupy third spot.

Monk, who only took charge in September, was left to rue two dropped points at Derby County on Wednesday night in a 1-1 draw.

But despite their improved position, Owls manager Monk knows there is more to come from his side.

“No-one expected us to be where we are at this point,” said Monk. “We are doing fantastic. Let’s not forget. But the key is everyone wants more.

“When you are a big club, everyone wants more and we have to abide by that and buy into that and show that mentality.

“We are doing that, but just need more work. In the meantime, be competitive and pick up points on a regular basis and that helps you

“In the past couple of years, we have been nowhere near it and at this moment in time, we are in a really healthy position.

“We want more and it does not mean us and the players are happy to settle for what we have got.

“We are competitive and we have made the team competitive and have a position to compete and take points.

“In the meantime, we will work on the other stuff. At this moment in time, we don’t have a lot of time in this month – with so many games – to work on the training ground. But a lot of it is work off the pitch and showing them stuff. They have a great attitude and big spirit.

“It is trying to be consistent across the whole course of the season. We have done a good job of that up to now.

“There has not been one game where we have been out of the result and that is a good sign and something we talked about when we came in. We are at a big club, the players and I understand that. But we want more.”

Today, the Owls face a rejuvenated Nottingham Forest side, who sit one point ahead of Wednesday in fifth spot.

The hosts though, don’t have a great record at the City Ground this season, winning just four of their nine Championship games, losing three times.

And having taken seven points from a possible nine – with wins over Brentford, Charlton Athletic and a draw at Derby, where the Owls dominated the first half – Monk says his side are playing without fear.

“Yes, they (Forest) have invested massively and have a really strong, talented squad and we are going to have to play as we did in that first 35 minutes and try and sustain it,” he said.

“If we can do that, we can beat anyone, there’s no fear in any of the teams we are playing against. But it is more about us and trying to improve ourselves.

“They have a lot of threats, but we have as well. You saw in the first 35 (at Derby) and in the second half against Brentford, and the whole game against Charlton, and this run we have been on that we have our own threats. We are trying to do that and impose our strength.”

Being the third game in a week, the Owls are forced into at least two changes – with Moses Odubajo and Sam Hutchinson suspended.

But with 11-goal striker Steven Fletcher coming off at Derby with an injury niggle, Monk may be tempted to freshen up his team.

He added: “I am going to have to think about these three game weeks. You are asking a lot of the players to physically and mentally push them.”