Dom Howson's Sheffield Wednesday column: How Garry Monk has quickly stamped his authority on the Owls

What has become abundantly clear in the 27 days since Garry Monk was officially unveiled as Sheffield Wednesday's manager is he leaves nothing to chance.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 9:51 pm

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is Monk's mantra at Wednesday.

A man of precision and fine detail, Monk is a hands on coach.

Sources say his training sessions are intense and well structured (he takes many of them himself). He gives his players clear, precise instructions to ensure everybody fully understands their roles and responsibilities.

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Owls boss Garry Monk

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"There can be no grey area," Monk told author Michael Calvin while manager at Swansea City. "It is about repetition, repetition, repetition."

Monk has tried to avoid falling into the trap of being overbearing and giving the team too much information. Monk has tried to keep things simple and lay solid foundations for the future.

He has made a solid start to his tenure, picking up seven points from four league outings. It could, and perhaps should, have been more. The bare minimum the Owls ought to have come away with from the midweek trip to Hull City was a point. But a combination of woeful finishing, a defensive lapse in concentration and a shocker of a refereeing decision culminated in Monk suffering his first league defeat. Hull was a missed opportunity.

Yet, encouragingly, Wednesday have shown some tactical adaptability under Monk, playing a 4-3-3 system against Fulham.

However, Monk's preferred formation appears to be 4-4-2. It does makes plenty of sense for Monk to play two up front right now as the Owls are well-stocked in that department.

There seems to be a big emphasis on going back to front quicker. The team have adopted a more direct approach and the distinct style change certainly paid off in the Middlesbrough rout. Atdhe Nuhiu and Steven Fletcher bullied Boro's centre-backs and brilliantly exploited the Teeside club's weakness from crosses. Wednesday executed Monk's game plan to perfection at the Riverside.

But they failed to back that result up on Tuesday night, with Sam Winnall not making the most of his opportunity to shine in the absence of the injured Fletcher.

It is fair to say Monk's appointment was hardly greeted with universal acclaim. There was a mixed reaction from the Owls fan-base.

Some supporters hailed chairman Dejphon Chansiri's decision to hire an experienced Championship manager following the departure of Steve Bruce. Others questioned the wisdom of the owner's choice, claiming Monk was an uninspiring appointment from the manager merry-go-round.

But I understand a big part of the reason why Monk landed the role in the first place was because he gave an excellent presentation in the interview process with Chansiri. Monk has similar qualities to Chansiri in that he is straight-talking, passionate and ambitious.

At 40, Monk has already packed a lot into his managerial career. Five Championship clubs in five years (he had a taste of the Premier League with Swansea).

Confident and self-assured, Monk has impressed people behind-the-scenes with his drive and work ethic. He has been staying in a hotel in the city centre, but has put in some serious hours at the training ground. He is well aware there of plenty of things that need addressing.

Monk has thrown himself into the job while continuing to work with the existing members of the coaching staff. For me, that says a lot about Monk's personality and character.

Most managers look to bring in their own men straight away after landing a role...or at the very least an assistant. It can, of course, be a daunting experience going into a new club and starting afresh whether you are a player or a manager. A friendly face or two can certainly help an individual settle in.

In Monk's case, this is the first time in his managerial career he has worked with any of the backroom team or players he inherited at Hillsborough so you could have forgiven him for wanting to freshening things up.

But a month into his new gig and Monk is still happily working with Lee Bullen, Neil Thompson and company. Although Monk has hinted he will add in time to the coaching staff, he appears in no rush to make further additions.

No-one needs to tell Monk that the Owls are a work in progress. He knows it will take time and patience for him to implement his vision. There is no quick fix.

But Monk, so far, has taken everything in his stride and that bodes well for the future.