Sheffield Wednesday: Garry Monk on 'important' win over Wigan Athletic
The win was Monk’s first win at Hillsborough and came courtesy of Massimo Luongo’s 57th-minute strike, but the Owls were made to work hard for their three points as Wigan – with only one away win in their previous 27 matches on the road – set up to frustrate the home side.
Monk said that nothing is a given in the Championship, which he had described in his pre-match programme notes as ‘the toughest league in the world’.
He said: “Every game in this league, no matter what anyone says, everyone is competitive. Wigan compete, they’re aggressive. That’s something they’ve got about them and they’ve got quality.
“We had to be ready for that today. We knew they were going to compete, that’s why I went with the three in the middle to try and compete with them and not give them too much space.”
A stoic first half threw up few chances but after Luongo’s effort came a Steven Fletcher goal ruled out for offside late on.
“It was a competitive game,” Monk said. “It was a tight game, especially in that first half and in that first 25 [of the second half] we managed to get on top of them a bit and got a good goal, possibly should have had that second. You know you’re going to have to go to the end.
“We had the opportunity of a second, which I’m told it’s very marginal and that we’re unlucky not to have that one, and then we saw the game out well.”
The result puts Wednesday in 11th place in the Championship table, one point outside the play-off positions and three from the top spot.
The division now goes into dormancy until after next weekend’s international break, which has been described as a cornerstone moment in Wednesday’s season as Monk attempts to impress his ideals on the side.
After a disappointing defeat at Hull on Tuesday, the 40-year-old was delighted with the win.
He said: “It’s important as a team you’re able to respond and get a positive result when you’ve suffered a setback.
“In terms of a result and three points heading into the international break, we have to be pleased with that.”