Why Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk says he is enduring the 'most difficult period' in his managerial career
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The 40-year-old saw his side produce a horror showing in the opening 30 minutes at Hillsborough on Saturday as Derby County raced into a three-goal lead courtesy of Tom Lawrence’s brace and a Jason Knight strike.
Wednesday pulled one back in the second half through substitute Josh Windass.
But despite an improved performance after the interval, Monk’s side were unable to claw their way back into the game against a Rams side which had only mustered 11 points on the road before Saturday’s encounter.
Speaking to the media after the defeat, Monk was scathing about his side’s abysmal first half performance and revealed how the run of form since Christmas had left him questioning his side’s attitude.
“It’s probably the most difficult moment in my career in management, I’ve not quite seen anything like this period ” said Monk, who was appointed Owls boss in September.
“We’re trying to work through it and trying to push these players and trying to help them and helping everyone is what my job is.
“I’m trying to do that but that work behind the scenes obviously isn’t reflecting in the performances and that’s not good enough.”
Wednesday were third at Christmas but a run of eight defeats in 13 games leaves them trailing in a distant 12th place.
But Monk’s side had gone into the Derby game with their tails up after a week which had seen them produce a 1-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at Hillsborough on Wednesday – their first win in front of their own fans since December 22 – and secure a share of the spoils in a 3-3 draw at Birmingham City.
“We just seem to go from one extreme to another,” said Monk. “To go from Wednesday where we produced a good, solid and creative performance to a what we saw in that first half was a complete opposite.
“Of course, the first goal was a very unfortunate goal in terms of the deflection it takes.
“That can happen in football, but what you can’t do in the aftermath of an unfortunate goal is compound it with really poor individual mistakes and gift goals how we did and gift any opposition the lead that they had in the first half. That was extremely poor.
“In the second half it was better and we had much more of a go, but it was too little too late.”