Sheffield Wednesday: How Garry Monk won the battle of the new managers in the Owls' win over Huddersfield Town

This Yorkshire derby was billed as the battle of the two new managers.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 9:44 am
Updated Sunday, 15th September 2019, 11:37 pm

Both Garry Monk and Danny Cowley were appointed during the international break.

Monk, a vastly experienced operator at this level, was in the away dugout while Cowley, in the home technical area, was given a big round of applause by three sides of the ground before kick-off on his Huddersfield Town managerial bow.

The presence of Monk and Cowley in the dugouts added an intriguing subplot to the clash at the John Smith's Stadium Stadium.

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New Owls boss Garry Monk celebrates their win over Huddersfield Town

But it was Monk who got off to the perfect start after a professional, disciplined performance on the road.

Wednesday were too strong and street-wise for a Terriers side bereft of confidence and short on a cutting edge in the final third.

Steven Fletcher set the Owls on their way, bagging a 10th minute opener. The Scotland international headed home a Kadeem Harris cross from six yards out to claim his fourth goal in seven Championship starts. It is the third successive fixture Fletcher has netted in and he is undoubtedly the leader of the attack.

Although Huddersfield edged possession and territory, Wednesday always carried a threat on the counter attack.

With 18 minutes remaining, substitute Sam Winnall sealed the three points with his first Owls goal in more than two years, glancing Barry Bannan's centre into the corner.

No wonder Monk cut a satisfied figure at the full-time whistle.

"It wasn't perfect, but for a first attempt at some of the stuff we were asking, it was very good," he said. "I'm very pleased."

Monk made two changes to his starting line-up, bringing in Moses Odubajo and Jacob Murphy for Morgan Fox and the suspended Fernando Forestieri.

After Fletcher's opener, it was the Terriers who created the better opportunities as Terence Kongolo blazed over after an unintentional give-and-go with Fraizer Campbell before the defender was denied by the reflexes of Keiren Westwood.

Wednesday's No 1 Westwood also had to be alert to keep Kongolo at bay after the break when the hosts pressed for an equaliser.

But Winnall caught the eye after coming on as a second half substitute and he ended his long goal drought following great build up play by Kadeem Harris and Barry Bannan.

With more composure and better execution, Wednesday could have scored more late on as Huddersfield threw bodies forward in search of a goal.

The hosts found it difficult to break down a well-drilled Owls defence, who coped well after a shaky start without club captain Tom Lees.

Monk added: "We did our jobs. I thought we scored at the right times and it was a thoroughly professional performance."

As Monk later pointed out, there is plenty of things Wednesday need to work on. They are far from the finished article and there will be far sterner challenges that Huddersfield over the coming weeks and months.

But the Owls could not have asked for a better start to the Monk era.