What Xisco Munoz can bring to Sheffield Wednesday even when surrounded by negativity - Alan Biggs

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Hillsborough has been a happy workplace for players these past couple of years.

There are welcome signs of that continuing under a clearly bright and sparky character in Xisco Munoz.

It certainly needs to be the case - only a few weeks on from the entire club being similarly connected.

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Management takes all sorts but, while the methods and philosophy will always be different, it’s especially important in this instance that the mood of the dressing room doesn’t alter - because of what’s been raging outside of it.

Xisco Munoz speaking after the game at Chesterfield 11 July 2023Xisco Munoz speaking after the game at Chesterfield 11 July 2023
Xisco Munoz speaking after the game at Chesterfield 11 July 2023

If only the same harmony existed between Sheffield Wednesday’s owner and the fan base.

The whole club could not have been more upbeat and together at the end of last season. We all know what’s happened in between and those shock waves crossed the dressing room too.

But Munoz strikes you as meaning what he says when he talks about players enjoying their work.

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His core group are used to operating in that atmosphere and haven’t taken liberties from it. The background noises I hear - always more revealing than the public ones - are of a footballing style being promoted that skipper Barry Bannan, for one and an influential one at that, will relish.

But I hope the former Watford promotion winner isn’t necessarily judged on repeating that feat in his first season, much as it has to be the aim.

It’s again been near impossible to read from the same page as Dejphon Chansiri in recent times, though there is one thing on which we all might agree.

His targeting of back-to-back promotions and the quickest possible return to the Premier League is the right way to go in my opinion.

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Whether it is realistic and he can provide the resources to match remains to be seen.

Promotion is a wave you have to ride. Consolidation is not an acceptable word for clubs of this size.

And there are good recent examples of clubs succeeding without being lavishly funded. Sheffield United and Luton last season, for instance.

In this column’s eyes, Chansiri had a free hit last season. Much as he was responsible for relegation, the blame would have fallen elsewhere if the Owls had not won promotion.

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I thought last summer’s recruitment was more than sufficient and that’s why I stood aside from the furore over limited activity in January.

However, following the Darren Moore upheaval, the understandable ticket price outcry and the utterly embarrassing new manager unveiling, Chansiri will be much more under scrutiny this time.

It all depends on a new alliance between him and Munoz regaining lost momentum.

Certainly the Spaniard comes across, as many foreign coaches do, as someone used to this sort of owner-led set up and happy to work within it.