Ex-Sheffield Wednesday ace urges Garry Monk to protect Owls star & gives verdict on promotion chances
Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Micky Gray has given his verdict on how new Owls boss Garry Monk will fare in helping the side push for promotion, and has pin-pointed a key player he must protect.
Monk will be in charge of his first game as Owls boss this Sunday against struggling Huddersfield Town, and will be looking to begin his reign with a solid result at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Speaking to Football League World, former Gray gave his views on Monk's recent appointment, and said: "Garry knows that league. He’s been around the block now and he’s done a very good job in some of the roles he’s had.
“He’s been given an opportunity at Sheffield Wednesday, they’ve got fantastic support. I think they’re probably envious of the club that are just down the road from them and what they’ve achieved over the last two or three seasons."
The 45-year-old went on to suggest that Steven Fletcher should be protected at all costs, given his recent resurgence in form. He claimed : "What he (Monk) has to do is wrap Steven Fletcher up in cotton wool because he has been injury-prone throughout his career.
“When you look at Steven, he is a talented player and he looks as though he’s got his confidence back. He’s scoring goals, whether that’s penalties or from open play.”
The Owls got the season off to a solid start with interim manager Lee Bullen, but a decline in form saw them lose three out of four of their most recent Championship games. However, in a tightly-packed division, the club are only one point off the all-important play-off places at the moment.
Gray went on to give his prediction for Wednesday's play-off hopes, and contended: "If they can stay around those play-off positions and get to January, then maybe with a couple of additions he will feel confident going into the second half of the season that he’s got every chance of finishing in that top six.”