Sheffield Wednesday: How Dejphon Chansiri surprised even his staff as Garry Monk sets about 'accelerating Owls potential'

Dejphon Chansiri was scheduled to fly back to Thailand after Wednesday's clash with Queens Park Rangers.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 3:46 pm
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 11:56 pm

But the Owls owner rearranged his plans at the last minute and stayed in England to step up his search for a new manager.

If there is one thing I have come to expect throughout Chansiri's colourful premiership, it is to expect the unexpected. Chansiri is a unique chairman and a very hard man to second guess.

And as is his prerogative, the Thai businessman understandably kept his cards close to his chest over the identity of Steve Bruce's long-term successor. Senior Wednesday figures were informed of Garry Monk's impending arrival around Friday lunchtime and a press conference was hastily-arranged at Hillsborough for late afternoon.

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Dejphon Chansiri, left, and new Owls manager Garry Monk. Picture Scott Merrylees

The Owls' players and coaching staff, including interim boss Lee Bullen, met Monk for the first time at their Middlewood Road training ground just after 1 o'clock. Monk spoke briefly with the squad about his expectations and the challenges that lie ahead.

Sitting next to Chansiri during the press conference, Monk cut a happy, relaxed figure at his unveiling. He described the Wednesday gig as the "perfect opportunity" to relaunch his career in football management.

"I know how powerful a club this is and the history and the tradition of the club and know the backing that the chairman has given the club over the years," said Monk. "It is a great opportunity and one I am excited about.

"There are big clubs in this league with tradition and history and to be part of that history is an honour. That is the way I look at it as a manager. The overriding factor is that I am excited.

Gary Monk is unveiled as the new Sheffield Wednesday FC manager. Picture Scott Merrylees

"I wanted to come here and get started with what is a capable squad and move it forward and see what we can do."

Feeling refreshed and ready to go after three months out of work, Monk's brief is to turn Wednesday into a team capable of challenging for promotion. Despite the team's mixed start to the season, Chansiri has set his sights on a top-two push.

No pressure then!

Monk said: "When you look at the start of every season, there are 14 or 15 teams that have that ambition.

"The process of big clubs is improvement day by day and try and improve the squad we have and we know it is a capable squad, but there are a lot of capable squads in this league. It is about making sure we compete as well as we can and then the quality comes through."

Chansiri said he spoke to some applicants about the job following Bruce's controversial departure in July. He is convinced Monk is the right man to take the club forward.

"He is the best choice," said Chansiri, who thanked Bullen for his time at the helm as caretaker. "We looked at his CV and he did very well with Birmingham and other clubs and I think he can do well."

Monk is a vastly-experienced manager, particularly at Championship level. His appointment by Wednesday means Monk will have managed five current second-tier sides in the past five years since he hung up his boots.

The former Swansea City, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Swansea City and Birmingham City chief said: "In terms of motivation for this club, of course I'm highly motivated, but any more than what I've ever been? No.

"I don't think I've got anything to prove. I think I've proved in a short space of time as a manager that I know how to manage.

"I've improved numerous players and numerous teams from where I took them to where we ended with them.

"Unfortunately everything outside of that, decisions, that's out of my hands. I can't control that. That's up to other people.

"Of course there's been disappointments along the way. I've not been allowed to go longer, but I feel I've improved every single club that I've been at."

It is Monk's first job since he was sacked by Birmingham in June following the breakdown of his relationship with Blues chief Xuandong Ren. The Birmingham chief executive later claimed Monk had wanted to use his agent, James Featherstone, in all transfer deals.

Leeds and Middlesbrough reportedly made similar allegations, which Monk has refuted.

Monk said in a statement released in July that he was considering legal action against all three clubs.

"I will speak about that, but not today," he said. "Today's about Sheffield Wednesday. I don't want to deal with nonsense. It's not my focus.

"I will speak about that, but at the right time. Right now it's about Sheffield Wednesday, about the honour of being here, the excitement to be here and getting to work.

"That's the only thing that really matters, that's the only thing that today's about so that's what I'm looking forward to."

Monk knows he is under pressure to deliver at S6 and will have to work with what he has got until the January transfer window.

"We are in a situation where there is no transfer window but this squad is more than capable of doing well in this league," he said.

"The thing we have to combat is there are a number of other teams who think exactly the same.

"I do believe that if we can get to work and put a few things in place that can help this group of players then it can accelerate the potential it has got.

"If we can reach the potential that we have got, then we have a great chance in this league of doing well."

It is the beginning of a new era and Monk is determined to make his mark.