Garry Monk sends brutally honest message to out-of-favour Sheffield Wednesday defender

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk has extended a simple message to seemingly out-of-favour Owls centre-half Julian Börner; perform if you want to climb back up the selection pecking order.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 5:00 pm

The German defender was left out of the squad altogether in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Millwall, with rookie Liam Shaw – who has played the majority of his career as a midfielder – preferred as a defensive option on the bench. Monk said the decision was not due to form, not injury.

Börner has featured only in the Carabao Cup so far this season having pulled out of the Owls’ Championship opener at Cardiff with illness, with Joost van Aken impressing in his place.

Wednesday evening saw Monk’s in-form side concede their first goals of the season in a 2-0 cup defeat to Fulham.

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Fulham's Anthony Knockaert escapes the advances of Sheffield Wednesday defenders Moses Odubajo and Julian Borner.

Asked what Börner needs to do to climb the pecking order, Monk told The Star: “It’s the same as all of them, perform. The standard has been set and they know very clearly that from day one it’s been a clean slate and it’s moving forward down to whoever is performing.

“At this moment in time there are a lot of players performing in those positions, we’ve had clean sheets and everything like that but your job is whenever you’re out of the side or even out of the squad, you make sure that when you get your opportunity you perform and you perform to a high level.

“That’s his job and that’s the same as anyone who’s ever going to be in this position this season.

“They know that and what you’re seeing is that some of them are performing and some of them need to catch up. That’s where it needs to be.”

Monk said that he had been very clear with the players at the start of the campaign that they were starting on an even keel and that form would be the only criteria for selection.

He said: “I said those things to them on the first day when we came back in and I need to be true to my word and that’s what I’ve been trying to do in the way I’ve been selecting the team.

“They’ll still get the opportunity to prove that they deserve a place and that’s what we’ve done.”

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