Angry Garry Monk slams his Sheffield Wednesday side after 2-1 defeat to lowly Wigan Athletic

When will Sheffield Wednesday ever learn?

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 5:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 11:09 pm
Owls winger Kadeem Harris with Wigan's Cedric Kipre. Pic Steve Ellis

Yet again Garry Monk's side threw away a lead and squandered the opportunity to close the gap between themselves and top-six.

Leading 1-0 at half-time thanks to Jacob Murphy's headed, the Owls looked on course to record a fourth consecutive victory on the road in all competitions.

But Wednesday produced a dismal second half showing as relegation-haunted Wigan Athletic fought back to claim maximum points after strikes from Kieffer Moore and Jamal Lowe.

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Owls winger Kadeem Harris with Wigan's Cedric Kipre. Pic Steve Ellis

It means the Owls have now dropped a whopping 18 points from winning positions and slipped to 11th in the standings, five points adrift of the play-off positions.

"I can stand here and try to defend players as much as I possibly can but I can't defend that," said a furious Monk. "There are some players that shouldn't be here at this club and there are players that do."

Both sides cancelled each other out in the early skirmishes.

There was a bizarre moment in the 20th minute when referee David Webb stopped play after spotting a hole in Cameron Dawson's net. Wednesday's travelling contingent found the incident immensely amusing, singing "one-nil to the referee".

Eventually the ground staff brought a ladder on to the pitch to fix the net, with Wednesdayites aiming "you're getting sacked in the morning" chants in their direction before play resumed.

Net gate was fun while it lasted.

Wigan, who have scored the fewest home league goals of any side in the Championship this term (12), threatened to open the scoring when Joe Gelhardt slipped in Antonee Robinson down the left flank but the full-back drilled his shot over the top.

After a sluggish start, the Owls gradually warmed to the task.

A strong, dynamic Murphy run caused panic in the Latics defence as he cleverly nut-megged Lee Evans before dragging a right foot effort wide when well-placed.

It was a warning that Wigan failed to heed, with Murphy heading Wednesday in front in the 32nd minute after an eye-catching team move.

Barry Bannan, one of three changes made by Monk, used his wand of a left foot to devastating affect to put Morgan Fox in the clear and the left-back's first time cross was nodded in by Murphy.

Despite Murphy's strike, the home side refused to buckle.

Midfield playmaker Sam Morsy, formerly of Chesterfield, forced Dawson into action with a piledriver from distance. Dawson, fresh from signing a new long-term contract, pushed Morsy's effort to safety.

A smattering of boos greeted the half-time whistle. Bereft of confidence and ideas in the final third, Wigan struggled to break down Wednesday's resolute, well-organised back four.

But Paul Cook's side made a bright start after the restart, with Morsy's shot deflected behind for a corner.

The Owls were forced into a defensive reshuffle when Fox picked up a knock and was replaced by club captain Tom Lees. It meant Dominic Iorfa switched to right-back and Moses Odubajo moved to the opposite flank.

On a bitterly cold, wet evening, the Latics restored parity in the 56th minute through Moore. The big Welsh international latched on to Morsy's fine pass and coolly drilled a low shot past Dawson.

Moore's goal visibly lifted Wigan and Cedric Kipre should have done better after Monk's men switched off at the back.

It was one-way traffic in the closing stages as the Latics, fighting for their Championship lives, piled on the pressure. Gary Roberts was unable to turn in substitute Michael Jacobs' centre before Dawson produced a smart reflex stop to deny Jacobs.

Moments later, Evans swung in a dangerous delivery to back post that Moore somehow headed wide with the goal at his mercy.

Wednesday were second best after the break, delivering a disjointed, poor performance. They gave the ball away at regular intervals and looked off the pace.

And Lowe grabbed a deserved 90th minute for Wigan, looping a beautiful header over Dawson following a Joe Garner flick-on to secure only a second win in their last 18 outings.

It is the 10th time Wednesday have conceded in the last 10 minutes this season.

"There needs to be change," said Monk following a fifth league defeat in the last six outings. “Embarrassment is what I feel.

“You are here to fight for the football club and fight for that shirt and you have to do that every second on that pitch

“We just went through the motions in the second half and I am not here for that. If you are a player at this football club, you should not settle for that.”

Wigan: Marshall; Bryne, Kipre, Naismith, Robinson; Dowell (Williams 66), Evans (Garner 88), Morsy, Lowe; Moore, Gelhardt (Jacobs 66). Substitutes: Jones, Massey, Roberts, Dunkley.

Owls: Dawson; Odubajo, Iorfa, Borner, Fox (Lees 51); Murphy, Bannan, Pelupessy, Harris (Reach 71); Winnall (Rhodes 58), Nuhiu. Substitutes: Wildsmith, Urhoghide, Borukov, Hunt.

Attendance: 9,759 (1,747)

Referee: David Webb (Lancashire)