Sheffield Wednesday: Garry Monk issues challenge to Owls stars whose contracts are set to expire next summer
Manager Garry Monk has challenged his Owls stars whose contracts are set to expire at the end of the season to prove why they deserve to remain at Hillsborough.
Wednesday have a number of players in the final years of their deals, including left-back Morgan Fox, midfield enforcer Sam Hutchinson and forwards Steven Fletcher, Atdhe Nuhiu and Fernando Forestieri.
Monk, whose team go to 17th-placed Blackburn Rovers on Saturday aiming to extend their unbeaten run to five matches, said he will hold talks with chairman Dejphon Chansiri and the club's recruitment team before making any decisions on players' futures.
"When I next sit with the owner, we will have those discussions and discussions about other things," he told The Star. "Players find themselves in all different sorts of situations in my experience.
"If it is a case of where some of them are out of contract, it is their job to perform and earn a new contract. They have to do it with a real strong mentality and show us what they have got.
"But, of course, you would like to sort those situations out as quickly as possible but that will be done with the club's blessing.
"Right now, I am not focused on that.”
Monk, who has added Birmingham City’s head of analysis Ryan Needs to his backroom team, has turned Wednesday into a difficult team to beat, overseeing just one loss in his eight Championship matches since taking over from caretaker Lee Bullen in early September.
"The key is for those (out-of-contract) players to fight hard and make sure when it comes to those decisions that they are in the forefront of our minds to get a new deal,” stressed Monk. “That is what they are playing like at this moment in time and I haven't seen any effect from that but it is not really my focus at this moment.
"I will sit and have those discussions with the club but that will be with the owner when he is ready and we will move from there."