"You can't shut off": Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk on the strain of football management
Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has opened up on the strain football management takes out of a person and offered an insight into the commitment needed to be a success in the game.
The Owls boss, who is enjoying a busy but much-improved start to the season after a 2019/20 campaign that saw him come under fire, told The Star he could not remember the last day he took off work and that, like so many others, he found it difficult to switch off from work matters.
Monk and his staff have been working overtime in what has already been a manic season. The pressure, he said, is part of the job.
Asked whether he ever found time to relax, Monk said: “One-track mind is the right way to describe it. It’s difficult but it is what it is.
“I’ve said to you before how fully committed we are. I want to get this right, I want to help the club, I want to help these players, I want to help the staff, I want to help myself.
“To do that, if you’re going to ask for hard work and commitment from everyone around you, you need to commit to that yourself.”
"It’s been very busy since we returned, a very short pre-season with a lot of content in it, and then we’re into a busy period with games on weekends and midweeks.”
Studies have found that one in four football managers will suffer from mental illness or burnout at some stage in their career and although Monk said last year that he is not one of those, he admitted he does feel the strain of a high-pressure role.
“You try to mentally shut off but it’s difficult sometimes in this job,” he said. “You can’t.
“There’s things coming from everywhere, from outside and inside. But I’m used to it. You use that experience to prioritise what is most important and push on with it.
“You have to set the standard with the staff, the staff set the standard with the players and everyone around the club and you control that environment.
“I’ve had no days off. Players will have certain days off, but when they’re off we’re preparing. That’s what it has to be, so we’ll continue like that.”