Sheffield Wednesday: Restrained but confident - Garry Monk makes a positive first impression as Owls boss

It would not be too harsh to suggest that there is some convincing to be done by Garry Monk over his suitability for the top job at Sheffield Wednesday.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 11:02 pm
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 11:11 pm
Gary Monk is unveiled as the new Sheffield Wednesday FC manager. Picture Scott Merrylees

His bolt-from-the-blue appointment on Friday afternoon was met with a decidedly mixed response from Wednesdayites, justifiably or not. For all those impressed by his work in difficult circumstances at Birmingham City, there were just as many uninspired by an apparent lack of tangible success at the top end of the table.

He simply does not command the overwhelming approval rating that Steve Bruce did when he walked into the job nine months ago.

Bruce's mere presence, with his wealth of experience, provided an incredible amount of reassurance at a time when Wednesday needed just that. From day one he spoke like a man who knew what he was doing and was confident he had the situation of reviving a flagging giant well in hand.

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The situation may now not be as grim as it was when Bruce arrived but his subsequent unpalatable departure coupled with the Owls' stuttering form has many concerned over there being any hope of a genuine revival.

Whoever followed would be required to calm the waters, to reassure again - and that task has fallen to Monk.

He has not yet earned the right to command the sort of presence Bruce brought earlier this year. He has to earn such trust.

It can be easy to be taken in too much by a manager's first introduction in a new job.

Overt ambition and bold claims can bring people onside quickly but see support fade just as fast if not delivered upon.

There was something heartening then about the manner in which Monk conducted himself on his first media outing under the Wednesday banner.

Fashionably late - though the surprise press call afforded him such grace - he looked every bit an exciting, still young manager in a smart suit and with slicked back hair.

And on first impressions, he is clearly a man with plenty of confidence.

Though circumstances at several clubs on his CV have hardly helped his cause, Monk is still in a position to get this job right if he is to remain prominent in the game for years to come.

So there were inevitably a few probing questions on his record and how he has stood up so far as a manager.

Said without arrogance, he declared that he does not feel the need to prove himself to anyone but himself when it comes to his managerial career.

And that assurance in his own ability meant there was no need to make big claims about what Wednesday could do under his stewardship.

His chairman, Dejphon Chansiri, may have spoken of ambitions of a top two challenge but Monk never even uttered the phrases 'top six' or 'play-offs.' It showed a welcome degree of consideration for the task at hand rather than what would make a decent soundbite.

Instead he spoke of hard work, of getting the mentality right to ensure the talents we have all witnessed within this Wednesday squad are brought back to the fore.

This is a man who clearly knows he has plenty of work to do just to get Wednesday moving back in the right direction on a consistent and sustained basis, never mind motoring towards the top flight.

He was restrained, without being too considered. He spoke of his loan spell at Wednesday 16 years ago but did not play on it too much – something which would have appeared insincere given he was only around for three months.

He knew the real talking, and genuine substance, is to be delivered elsewhere – commencing on the training ground this coming week and then, more importantly, starting at Huddersfield next Sunday.

Monk has plenty of convincing to do. But, with the first impression, he is heading down the right path.