Sheffield Wednesday: Why Garry Monk is not paying any attention to the table

Their row with the English Football League over the legality of the sale of Hillsborough to chairman Dejphon Chansiri looks set to rumble on and could potentially undermine the club's entire season.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 5:00 pm

But Sheffield Wednesday remain focused on the job in hand and are in a promising position in the table with the halfway mark in the Championship season fast approaching.

They are very much in the play-off mix heading into the hectic Christmas period, but boss Garry Monk is refusing to get carried away. He insists it is too early to read anything into the Owls' current league placing.

"It is great to know we are in a healthy position," said Monk. "It helps our belief and confidence.

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"But, if I am honest, I am not paying any serious attention to the table. It does not mean anything at this point in the season.

"Come the last two months of the season, it is more important where you are in the league.

"Right now, it is good to know we are in a healthy position but there is so much football to be played and so much can happen.

"We have to concentrate on performing and playing at the intensity we need to play at.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk

"It is tough to do it in such demanding circumstances with games every two to three days."

Wednesday moved back into the top-six over the weekend after their pulsating come-from-behind win over Brentford. Victory over Derby County at the Pride Park Stadium on Wednesday evening would further lift the mood around Hillsborough.

Monk said: "When you get a couple of results, everything seems rosier. You only have to suffer a couple of defeats and everything seems doom and gloom.

"You just have to stay balanced throughout it all. When there are bumps in the road, you have to stay level with it.

"We have tried to do that although we have had some games where we feel should have picked up more points."

Steven Fletcher's quickfire second half double ensured the Owls defeated the Bees and was the first time they had come from behind to win in the league since September 2017.

Monk, who was unhappy with their first half showing, said: "I challenged the team to show character at half-time and I think they showed it in the second half.

"It proved a lot of things to themselves and everyone else that this is a team who are prepared to fight and roll up their sleeves when they need it. You need that character in this league."

Character and resilience Wednesday will need to show in spades when they take on Derby. Last season's play-off finalists are currently languishing in the bottom half of the division after winning just one of their last five outings.

But the Rams are a difficult side to beat on their own turf, losing just once this term.

Monk said: "They have probably been a little less consistent than seasons gone past.

"I don't see any change in terms of their capabilities. Their dangers remain the same.

"Derby have a very talented squad and we are not underestimating anybody.

"It is about the intensity and attitude we play with.

"It is not about the effort and commitment as that has been there throughout. It is about that extra five to 10 percent of wanting to run and go the extra yards.

"We saw the difference in the two halves at Brentford. We didn't go the extra yards in the first half but we did in the second and it proved what can happen."

The Owls manager has no fresh injuries to contend with. Liam Palmer is pushing to return at right-back, having completed a three-match suspension. Adam Reach, Massimo Luongo and Jordan Rhodes could also come into Monk's thoughts should he decide to freshen up his attacking options.

"We will have a lot of things to overcome over this period," said Monk. "There will be niggles along the way.

"There might be other injuries so you need the squad to come to the fore.

"We will take each game and week as it comes and assess the players after every game.

"They all know they have to be ready."