What Garry Monk said about his decision to switch formation and play Fernando Forestieri at wing-back in their defeat at Luton Town

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk says his decision to switch to a 3-5-2 formation at Luton Town was designed to inspire belief in a squad lacking confidence.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 11:56 am
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 4:18 pm

The Owls crashed to a 1-0 defeat to the relegation-threatened strugglers, who recorded only their second clean sheet in the league this season.

A back three of Dominic Iorfa, Julian Borner and club captain Tom Lees was flanked by wing-backs Liam Palmer and Fernando Forestieri, who was taken off at half-time.

And asked his thinking behind the switch in system, Monk said: “My thinking was that if confidence levels aren’t high, or belief or whatever it might be, the my job is to help them and put something on the pitch that can help them trigger that and give them something to think about and send them out there to try to be more offensive or attack-minded or have that bit more belief in themselves.

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“‘I’m sending you out there because I believe you’re good players’; that’s my job, to try those things, I’ve tried a few things in this period and it hasn’t worked.

“I wanted to try and give the players that belief and have more attacking players on the pitch. It’s difficult – Fernando likes to play off that left, he naturally drifts to the left even when you play him central.

“I went to the guys at the back and tried to push it on a little bit and try to give the message to the team to go and attack it. But it didn’t quite work.

“We had some good moments but not enough, I understand that.”

Fernando Forestieri started at wing-back in Sheffield Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at Luton Town.

Forestieri was replaced by Kadeem Harris at the break, the Englishman offering perhaps the Owls’ best threat in the match.

“It was nothing that Fernando actually did, it was just more tactical,” Monk said.

“I just felt that Kadeem with that width and that directness would help us.

“He did exactly what I wanted him to do and if anything we probably didn’t give it to him enough.

“The same with Murph [Jacob Murphy], we probably didn’t switch the play enough.”