Garry Monk promises squad overhaul and slams Sheffield Wednesday defending in 5-3 defeat at Fulham

The frustration was there for all to see as Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk was once again forced to answer questions over the consistency and concentration of his side after a 5-3 defeat at Fulham.

The Owls boss, whose side now sit eight points clear of the drop zone with the threat of a potential points deduction still hanging over them, said that a sweeping change in personnel is the only way he can solve their defensive problems after individual errors saw them ship five goals for the third time this year.

“I do believe that there are players in that changing room good enough to get that consistency,” he said. “I do believe that.

“But you have to prove that very, very quickly. Because the situations that are hurting us are very cheap, easy errors that should be avoided. They should happen sporadically through a season, not as often as they have to us.

Adam Reach and Jacob Murphy look dejected at the final whistle of Sheffield Wednesday's 5-3 defeat at Fulham.

“I do believe that they are capable of doing that and getting better at it, but I’m also not here to talk about it and go over it and over it again and be like a broken record.

“So the only way to do that is to change personnel.

“The majority in there can do it, but we need personality to come in and show that consistency because we cannot work as hard as we do and go through it as much as we do and take those steps forward and then take those steps back.

“I’ve talked about it too much in the second half of the season and it’s proved costly for us.”

Wednesday improved in a second half that Atdhe Nuhiu net his 49th and 50th goals for the club. Jacob Murphy got the Owls’ other with a pleasing second-half cameo on the right-hand side.

But each time Wednesday got themselves within striking distance another error would come. They have conceded 44 goals in their last 22 matches.

Monk described some of the defending as ‘schoolboy’ and said: “It’s been too constant this second half of the season, I’m sick and tired of talking about these things.

“The majority can improve but that transition is coming, there will be personnel changes in that. To be successful that’s what we have to do.

“I have an idea of what I want to do with the squad and what I think needs to happen, I’m very hopeful that the club will help me do that, I think they understand that and I’m hopeful that will happen.”

Asked how that changing room turnover might look, Monk said: “We’ll have to see what we’re able to do. It’s not going to be the full transition but we definitely need a good start to the transition. We’ll see where the squad is at at the end of the season, we’ve got one more game.

“In terms of what we can and can’t do, we’ll have to see. There are a lot of variables in terms of next season, but we’ll make those decisions when the last games are done.”


Editor's message: Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues. The Star is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Sheffield news and information online. Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.