"He wasn't good enough" - Garry Monk on why he substituted Sheffield Wednesday captain Tom Lees plus Steven Fletcher fitness update

Garry Monk pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s performance after they crashed to lacklustre a 3-1 home defeat to fellow mid-table outfit Derby County.
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The Owls boss made three substitutes by the start of the second half, taking off Kadeem Harris and Steven Fletcher as well as club captain Tom Lees, who he said failed to give him the sort of response he would have wanted after his mistake let in Tom Lawrence for Derby’s second goal.

Lees lost the ball to Rams forward Chris Martin in the 24th minute and failed to recover his ground as Lawrence bagged his second of the afternoon.

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The Owls produced a lacklustre first half display to enter the break three goals down and despite an improved second period they never really threatened to get back into the game.

Lees was hooked at half-time for Dominic Iorfa, who produced an altogether stronger display in an improved Owls second half.

Fletcher, making his first start since sustaining a knee injury in their FA Cup win at Brighton on January 4, was replaced at half-time by Josh Windass. Kadeem Harris exited in just the 38th minute and was replaced by Connor Wickham.

On the reasons behind his captain’s removal, Monk said: “His performance wasn’t good enough. Yes he made the mistake but then afterwards he didn’t respond to that, which I expect.

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“You make the changes, Fletcher’s one, I spoke to him just before half-time and he was tired, obviously Steven isn’t fully fit and obviously he’s come back in a needs must situation.

Owls skipper Tom Lees struggles with Derby's Chris Martin.Owls skipper Tom Lees struggles with Derby's Chris Martin.
Owls skipper Tom Lees struggles with Derby's Chris Martin.

“That was more precautionary, but the other two were to try to make a change tactically to try and give us more impetus and fight back in that second half.

“We were the better team in that second half but it was too little, too late with the first half that we had.

“It was a very unfortunate first goal but to compound that with really poor mistakes, that’s not good enough.”