Sheffield Wednesday boss stunned by timing of Championship decision
Sheffield Wednesday manager, Garry Monk, has confirmed that the club have been given the green light to return to contact training, but called the time-frame given to them ‘inadequate’.
The Owls, like the rest of the Championship, returned to training on May 25th as they sought to get themselves back in shape for whenever the season resumed, and then on Sunday evening it was confirmed that a provisional return date of June 20th had been set.
Monk acknowledged the toughness of the situation for the English Football league, but admits he feels they need more time.
Speaking to the media today, the Wednesday manager said, “I think we all understand how difficult it is for the EFL to put this together, send it out to the clubs and give those guidelines. It’s an extremely difficult situation for them.
“In terms of the return date, I think if we are honest, we were all taken aback by that. The fact was that there was no prior correspondence or consultation to that return date, which was surprising for us.
“It’s well known that we’ve been working minimum of a week behind the Premier League. We had a managers’ meeting a few weeks ago with the EFL, and one thing we all asked for – and we thought had been agreed – was that we would have a minimum of three weeks contact training.”
And in terms of that contact training, Monk explained that he and his troops will be heading into that phase as of tomorrow with less than three weeks to go until the proposed restart date, and he says every team – as long as they played by the rules – should feel like it’s not enough time to be ready.
The Wednesday boss added, “Contact training has only just been signed off yesterday, so for ourselves, our first contact will be on Thursday. So to have the players ready in two and a half weeks when you’ve only just started contact training is a huge risk in terms of injuries and preparation if we’re honest.
“If everyone has adhered to the guidelines and returned on the 25th, then don’t think there’s any manager who could sit here honestly and say that two and a half weeks of contract training is good enough preparation for the players to go and then play an intense batch of games.
“We have to deal with it all though, and I’m just trying to focus on what we can do.”
The Owls are expected to face Nottingham Forest in their first game back, whenever that may take place, with fresh COVID-19 results this week likely to play a role in whether the EFL feel that the June 20th date can be met or not, and Monk will be looking to make the most of the time they do have to make his decision on who will start that first game back.