11 changes?! – Garry Monk explains his wholesale Sheffield Wednesday switch-up

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Most people were expecting changes from Garry Monk as Sheffield Wednesday faced Rochdale last night, but not many will have expected a whole new XI – the Owls boss had good reason though.

Monk changed his entire line-up from the one that beat Cardiff City 2-0 over the weekend, with a number of youngsters such as Alex Hunt, Ciaran Brennan and Liam Shaw all being handed a starting berth against the Dale in Greater Manchester.

In total there were 10 Owls academy graduates in the 18-man matchday squad for the Carabao Cup as key players such as Barry Bannan, Tom Lees and Kadeem Harris were left out completely.

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It’s about balance though, according to Monk, who is looking to manoeuvre a hectic 2020/21 season that will no doubt be taxing for his Wednesday troops.

Speaking after the game, the SWFC boss said, “It’s important to get the minutes in, we put lot a lot of energy into Saturday, and we’d normally be in the fifth week of preseason, so we’re very mindful of the energy that we use.

“This squad is going to be needed, building that fitness whilst trying to win games and putting in a performance - I’m very pleased with tonight.”

Meanwhile, on the increasing supply from Wednesday’s academy, he added, “It’s important… If you’re at a club that has an academy, what’s the point in having it if you’re not going to use it?

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There were a lot of changes for Sheffield Wednesday as they beat Rochdale. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)There were a lot of changes for Sheffield Wednesday as they beat Rochdale. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
There were a lot of changes for Sheffield Wednesday as they beat Rochdale. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

“Of course they have to be right, at a level where they can compete, and a couple are behind the others - Alex and Shawy have excelled a little bit more than the others physically - but they’re working hard.”

Now, after fielding two entirely different XIs in the space of a few days – both of whom secured 2-0 victories – Monk has some decisions to make ahead of what is sure to be a tough test against Watford in their first home game of the season.

The Owls will await the clash between Ipswich Town and Fulham to find out their next opponents, but for now will turn their focus to facing the Hornets at 3pm on Saturday afternoon as Championship action returns following the midweek cup games.

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