Sheffield Wednesday: Ambitious Garry Monk seeks to put down roots at Hillsborough

Garry Monk claims he is a better manager now than when he made waves leading Swansea City to eighth in the Premier League in the 2014/15 season.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 4:19 pm
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 4:56 pm

The ex-defender spent 10 years at Swansea as a player before stepping up to replace Michael Laudrup as boss.

Monk saved the Welsh club from the drop and then masterminded their best ever top-flight finish a year later.

He was axed in December 2015 following a downturn in the Swans results but has since taken charge of Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Birmingham City.

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Sheffield Wednesday represent the fifth different club Monk has managed in the last five years.

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview to BBC Sport Wales ahead of his reunion with the Swans at Hillsborough tomorrow, Monk insists he is keen to put down some roots.

"Look at all the clubs who have been successful moving from the Championship to the Premier League over the years," said Monk, who is considering handing starts to Barry Bannan, Jacob Murphy and Atdhe Nuhiu.

"At 99 per cent of them, managers have had time to build. That's the right way to do it. That's what I crave as a manager.

Owls boss Garry Monk. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

"I have enjoyed the last five or six years and got a load of experience in a short space of time. That's made me a much better manager.

"Hopefully Sheffield Wednesday is the place where I can have that longevity."

Monk would love nothing more than to be the man to end the Owls' 19-year Premier League exile.

He said: "It's everyone's ambition to manage at the highest level you can.

"I have had a taste of that and had relative success at that stage with no experience. That ambition is always there - it burns inside you. That's why you do it.

"There would be nothing greater than to manage at that level with this club, but that's a long way away at the moment. We have a lot of work to do to try to achieve that, but at clubs like Sheffield Wednesday you have to have that ambition. There is no fearing it."

Wednesday have not lost a home league match since Monk's arrival in early September and the 40-year-old has led them to seventh spot, just a one point outside of the play-off positions.

"I am ambitious, I am driven and I am a fighter," said Monk.

"I don't need to feed an ego. I just want to do as well as I can. When you are in the Premier League, the attention is ten times what it is in the Championship.

"It's not that I crave that - I don't need it - but you want to do well. Of course you want to be spoken about in a good way because that means you are doing a good job.

"But the most important people are the ones I am working for and the players and staff I have around me.

"It's about me driving them, trying to get them to achieve their ambitions. If they can do that, you will be achieving yours."