Sheffield Wednesday: Fans hail Monk's half-time switch as Owls come from behind to beat Brentford
‘A proper game of two halves’.
A footballing cliché, but one perfectly apt to describe what the 22,475 fans had witnessed at Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 1-0 at the break to Bryan Mbeumo’s headed effort just before the half-hour mark, it’s fair to say the Owls faithful was far from impressed with what it had seen.
But fast-forward to full-time and it was a completely different story as the Wednesday supporters headed home in high spirits after watching their side come from behind to emerge victorious courtesy of a brace from striker Steven Fletcher.
Whatever boss Garry Monk said during half-time worked – as did his decision to replace Atdhe Nuhiu with Jordan Rhodes, who played played a key role in Wednesday’s fightback and whose contribution was hailed by the manager after the match.
“Hopefully it’s a springboard for him,” said Monk. “We all want him to do well and I’ve had good conversations with Jordan, we spoke about how tough it’s been for him.
“To come on and help affect that game like he did, stretch the game, create space for Fletch and help his team to move up the pitch better and put that intensity in, I thought he was fantastic.”
Monk wasn’t the only one impressed with Rhodes and his side’s stirring fightback, the fans were too after watching their side notch up back-to-back wins in the Championship for the first time since August.
Writing on Twitter after the game, Tom Taylor-Batty said: “Very pleasing afternoon and result. Thought we deserved it based on the 2nd half performance.
“First half wasn't great, a few looked a yard off it. Wasn't really sticking up front. It happens, credit Brentford played some good stuff in the first 45.
“2nd half however, brilliant. Complete turnaround, thought Harris played well. Fletcher once again outstanding. Rhodes again changing the game. Also pleased with the reception he got before he came on.”
Matt Glossop was also full of praise for Monk’s half-time switch.
He wrote: “Full marks to the gaffer today. Saw the front two were not working today, changed it, won the game. Iorfa and Hutchinson absolutely immense today. Fletch scoring for fun! Good weekend!”
Like Monk, David Turner singled out Rhodes for the impact he made after coming on from the bench.
“Been critical of Jordan Rhodes, it’s just not happened for him at #swfc but he came on today, grafted didn’t hide and was a nuisance to the Brentford defenders. Touch is rusty which is hardly surprising but couldn’t fault his attitude. Was nice to see him celebrating at the end.”
And Peter Naldrett summed up the 90 minutes perfectly, writing: “Proper game of two halves today at Hillsborough. Atrocious in the first, superb in the second.”