Dom Howson's Sheffield Wednesday column: Stability key to Owls' future
Sunday's trip to struggling Huddersfield Town marks the beginning of a new voyage and a new era for Sheffield Wednesday.
Boss Garry Monk will be seeking to kick off his Owls reign with three points in the lunchtime Yorkshire derby at the John Smith's Stadium.
The appointment of Monk has divided opinion among the Wednesday fan-base.
Some Owls supporters are happy the club have brought in an experienced Championship boss. Monk has managed five current second-tier sides in the past five years and has taken charge of 150 plus second-tier matches. He knows his way around the division.
And Monk's record is not too shabby either. His win ratio is 39 per cent and he earned plenty of plaudits for stabalising things at Birmingham City in his last job. Working on a limited budget, Monk built a hard-working squad with a strong team ethic. He also coped admirably well with a number of off-the-field issues during his 15 month stint at St Andrew's.
But some Wednesdayites were left underwhelmed by Monk's appointment last Friday, claiming it showed a lack of ambition. He was far from everyone's first pick for the role and some fans feel the Owls have gone for the cheap option by hiring Monk, who was out of work.
A section of the supporters would have preferred Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri to have brought in the Cowley brothers. Their managerial stock is high and the pair were on Wednesday's radar.
But given the Cowley brothers have zero experience at Championship level, they would have been a risky appointment.
That said, every appointment is a gamble. There is no guarantee the Cowley's or Monk will work out at Huddersfield and Wednesday respectively.
All that we do know for certain is Monk is the latest man tasked with turning the Owls from a mid-table outfit into top-six contenders.
"I think he [Monk] is ambitious with positive ideas and I believe he is hungry to be a success," said Chanisiri at a hastily-arranged press conference last week.
Is promotion a possibility this season? Chansiri certainly thinks so.
The Thai businessman said: "I have always said since my first year that I never think about play-offs. I always think about top two."
No-one can fault Chansiri's ambition or commitment to Wednesday.
But it is unrealistic to think the Owls are capable of mounting a top-two challenge. They are a long way short of a battling it out for an automatic promotion spot.
Right now Wednesday are a club crying out for stability, with Monk now their fourth permanent manager since December 2017 (Lee Bullen has also filled in three times as caretaker during that period). There is still a big rebuilding job to be done at S6 and Monk will probably need two to three transfer windows to put his stamp on the club.
Patience is not regarded as a virtue in modern football, but Monk must be given time and support to turnaround the Owls' fortunes.