Garry Monk highlights key area Sheffield Wednesday must improve to get their promotion bid back on track

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Monk admits Owls must improve game management to maintain a top-six challenge.

Wednesday crashed to their first Championship defeat in seven outings on Boxing Day, losing 3-2 at lowly Stoke City.

Monk's side looked on course for a third straight victory when defenders Morgan Fox and Tom Lees both scored from corners.

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But the Owls let slip a 2-1 advantage, conceding twice in added on time to suffer their first defeat on December 26 since 2011.

It means Wednesday have thrown away 15 points from winning positions this season.

They also tossed away points against Queens Park Rangers, Cardiff City, Blackburn Rovers, Swansea City and Derby County.

Monk told The Star: "It (game management) has to improve.

“Of course it does.

Owls boss Garry MonkOwls boss Garry Monk
Owls boss Garry Monk

"All of us have to work on it. It is not just down to the senior players.

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“It is down to everyone. You have to learn quick and do things right."

The Owls boss pulled no punches after their reversal at the bet365 Stadium, claiming his players “got what they deserved” following a below-par showing.

“We were lucky to only be a goal down in the opening 60 minutes," acknowledged Monk.

“We were not at the races at all. The way we played was not good enough.

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“We didn't play with the determination that we are used to seeing from the team.

"We were hugely disappointed with the performance but we have to show a reaction in the next game. That's all we can do. We can't dwell on it too much. I have said it all along that we are going to have setbacks.

“We have had a lot of positives recently but we have now had a setback and we have to fight to put things right."

Next up for Wednesday is a home assignment with 11th-placed Cardiff City this Sunday.

The Bluebirds, managed by Neil Harris, have gone four matches without a win and are currently five points adrift of the play-off placings. It finished one apiece in the reverse fixture last October.

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