Sheffield Wednesday chief Garry Monk refuses to blame Barry Bannan absence for Blackburn Rovers defeat

Owls boss Garry MonkOwls boss Garry Monk
Owls boss Garry Monk
Garry Monk, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, has refused to blame Barry Bannan's absence for their late defeat to Blackburn Rovers.

Scotland international Bannan sat-out the trip to Ewood Park after picking up a groin injury in training last week.

The 29-year-old's presence in the midfield engine room was badly missed as the Owls crashed to a 2-1 loss to fall out of the Championship play-offs.

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Monk told The Star: "Barry is a big miss. He has that quality, we all know what he can bring to the team.

"But I thought we did exactly what we prepared for. Players are missing throughout the season, for whatever reason, and you have to deal with that.

"The players did exactly what we prepared for, and that’s probably what hurts even more. We knew it was going to be a hard, physical game. We had to be ready for that."

Bannan is expected to resume full training this week and be in contention to face high-flying Swansea City on Saturday.

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Monk, who was also without the services of Massimo Luongo (ankle) against Rovers, confirmed: "Barry had a little tightness in his groin.

"He is definitely likely to be available at the start of next week. We will see how Massimo is when we get back in."

Substitute Jacob Murphy’s 83rd minute header - his second goal of the season - looked to put the Owls on course for maximum points in East Lancashire.

But Blackburn loanee Tosin Adarabioyo equalised with a towering header in the 88th minute before John Buckley completed the stunning fightback in added on time when his deflected strike wrong-footed goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

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Monk said: "The first hour of the game was to make sure we were in the game, be solid, and we did that.

"We had some good opportunities in the first half, and the plan was to always open it up with half an hour to go.

"We did that and got the goal we deserved. It was then sickening, our own fault, a lack of concentration, and I told the players ‘you can’t afford to do that’.

"If we want to keep adding points, you have to make sure when you have worked so hard, you don’t concede through your own undoing. If it’s a great passage of play, and they beat you, you can accept that. When it’s your own mistake, it’s much harder to take.”

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