Why Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has frozen out Keiren Westwood and Sam Hutchinson

Keiren Westwood and Sam Hutchinson are training with Sheffield Wednesday's second-string side after falling out of favour under manager Garry Monk.

Sunday, 16th February 2020, 11:30 am
Updated Sunday, 16th February 2020, 3:47 pm

The Star understands goalkeeper Westwood and midfielder Hutchinson have been frozen out of the first-team squad, having been told they are not part of Monk's plans.

It is believed Westwood, Hutchinson and forgotten man David Bates have been forced to train with the Owls' Under-23s in recent weeks.

Westwood has not played since November while Hutchinson's last match came in the 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup on January 24. Centre-back Bates, on a season long-loan from German club, has never featured under Monk.

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On Westwood and Hutchinson's continued absence, Monk said: "At the end of the day, I have been in changing rooms for 25 years and I know what a successful environment looks like.

"I have to make decisions for various reasons, that I think will help that environment, and that goes for the whole squad.

"What I will say is that every single player knows exactly where he stands."

Monk, who watched his side fall to a 3-0 home defeat against Reading on Saturday, has repeatedly refuted claims he has fallen out with Westwood and Hutchinson.

Owls midfielder Sam Hutchinson has not featured since January

Westwood, 35, has slipped from first-choice to third behind Cameron Dawson and Joe Wildsmith while 30-year-old Hutchinson, whose name has been sung by some supporters in the last two matches, is among a raft of players out of contract at the end of the current campaign.

When asked by this newspaper if the Owls are lacking some experience in the team, Monk said: "I don’t think that would help, we have already tried it. That’s not helped.

"It’s a case of not being at the level that you need, that fight for your life mentality, that need to win and strive for something a bit more.”

This is not the first time Westwood and Hutchinson have been ostracised from the senior set-up by a manager. The experienced pair were also exiled by Jos Luhukay in the first half of the 2018/19 season.