What Garry Monk said about the prospect of Sheffield Wednesday friendlies ahead of Championship restart

Sheffield Wednesday’s fitness programme is on fast-forward after the club were taken by surprise by the Championship restart date of June 20.

Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 12:07 pm

Owls boss Garry Monk spoke to the media this morning and admitted most managers were working towards a date one week on from the proposed Premier League date, expressing concern over the welfare of players who he felt would not have enough contact training time ahead of the resumption.

Friendlies against other teams will not be part of that programme, however, with Monk confirming that the Owls will prefer in-house matches ahead of what is expected first up to be a home clash against promotion-chasing Nottingham Forest.

“It’s such a short space of time and we’ve not had it clarified yet in terms of what you can and can’t do,” he said.

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“Again, you probably don’t want to take that risk. What do you do with travel? Do you travel separately, do you travel by coach? It’s all these things I’m not aware of at the moment.

“I think from a health perspective, with this virus, why would you invite a group of people from outside into your sterile environment? I don’t see why you would do that. We’ll do it in-house, that’s the safest way in terms of player welfare and looking after ourselves.

In-house matches between squad members will be a key indicator of fitness, Monk said, and together with head of sports science Tony Strudwick he will feature these heavily in the lead up to a definite restart date.

Monk said: “When you come to those games, that’s the acid test. There’s a lot of thought that goes into it now with this announcement.

GOAL……Owls Fernando Forestieri converts from the spot…..Pic Steve Ellis

“We have a week less than we thought and we’ve got to be prepared for either one, whether it’s a case of rotating a lot of players or more minimal changes. We’ll see what happens.

“Coming back, it’s been good. I’ve seen a good determination with them and the majority of players have come back in the condition that I would have wanted them to, we’ll keep progressing the training and see where we’re at when we start.”

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