Sheffield Wednesday gave Garry Monk the perfect start to life as Owls boss, winning 2-0 on their travels against Huddersfield Town on Sunday afternoon.
It had been a steady start to the season for Wednesday under Lee Bullen, with the caretaker boss overseeing three wins in six outings.
However, Monk’s arrival hasn’t hindered Wednesday on yesterday’s showing, as Steven Fletcher and Sam Winnall secured a convincing win.
Fletcher’s opener came on 10 minutes after good work from Kadeem Harris, before Winnall secured the points in the 72nd minute, glancing a Barry Bannan cross beyond Kamil Grabara.
That moved Wednesday into ninth in the Championship standings, with the play-off places firmly in the eyes of Monk’s side.
Here, we take a look at THREE things we learnt about Monk’s side…
They’ll play in a ‘classic Monk’ way
Garry Monk has had success in the Championship without winning promotion. He overachieved with Leeds and Birmingham, and although his spell at Middlesbrough wasn’t convincing, he was unfairly axed.
In all three spells elsewhere in the Championship, Monk has played a particular way, with his side offering an attacking threat, but being extremely solid.
That was no different yesterday as Wednesday held firm after taking the lead, before producing a sucker punch on the break.
It’s a great tactic when it works, and Monk is amongst the best at getting his side set up in this way.
The squad is blessed with quality
In his post-match press conference, Monk pointed to the nucleus of a ‘successful’ side still being around.
Barry Bannan, Keiren Westwood and Sam Hutchinson, amongst others, were all around when Wednesday made back-to-back play-off appearances in 2016 and 2017, whilst in the summer, the Owls added the talent of Julian Borner, Kadeem Harris and Jacob Murphy.
Monk points to the nucleus of the squad as important. Plus the flutter of summer signings, which were "needed" in the new manager's words.
"We know we have the quality." #SWFC
— AGB (@BurnsAlfie) September 15, 2019
Monk noted those fresh faces were needed in the summer, whilst also stating Wednesday had quality.
This squad can compete for the Premier League.
Bannan is key
Amongst all that quality, Barry Bannan shines.
The Scot was captaining Monk’s side yesterday in the absence of Tom Lees, and there’s scope for him to do it permanently moving forwards.
He’s a true leader, setting an example to his players and keeping the tempo of Wednesday’s passing at a good rate.
His assist for Winnall’s goal was superb and he deserved all the praise he got post-match.
If he’s ticking along nicely, Wednesday will be.