Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has laid down the gauntlet to his team following their hard-earned win over Leeds United at the weekend.
The Owls came into the Yorkshire derby at Elland Road looking to put to rest a run of three straight defeats in the league, following games against Stoke City, Cardiff City and Hull City either side of the New Year.
Garry Monk’s side were buoyant, though, heading into the game after their FA Cup triumph over Premier League side Brighton and carried on their run by getting an unlikely win over then-table-topping Leeds United thanks to late goals from Jacob Murphy and Atdhe Nuhiu.
The game threatened to fizzle out towards a bore-draw with the Owls digging in to keep Marcelo Bielsa’s side at bay but managed to snatch all three points in the 87th-minute through Murphy’s strike from a narrow angle.
Wednesday now find themselves in back in the top six after their mini-slump and will be keen to remain there going forward. Garry Monk has commented to the club’s official website on how the side have come through this sticky patch and the characteristics they have shown to overcome very difficult fixtures of late. He stated: “We know all about the capabilities we have but I’ve been more pleased with the courage we have shown and the heart we have put on the pitch.
“That’s what our fans expect, it’s what the fans of every club expect. They expect players to crawl off that pitch having given everything.
“If you do that and lose the game, you can accept it, you can live with that. If you lose a game where you have put everything into it.
“But what we can’t live with is that three-game week where we lost those matches.
“So that’s the main thing to come out of those two games, Brighton and Leeds, in terms of lessons for all the players.”
Up next for the Owls is a home clash against Blackburn Rovers and Monk was ensuring that the players do not get ahead of themselves after two positive results. He added: “We didn’t get too down about that week.
“It’s always important to remain balanced, don’t get too high or too low.
“But I was disappointed with the players after those three defeats and we spoke about that afterwards and there was a need for a response.
“When you step onto a pitch and wear that shirt, you have to put your heart out there. It takes everything you’ve got.”
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Wednesday will no doubt be in very high spirits after their great wins at the AMEX and Elland Road but their consistency has been a major issue, and a Monk says, they need to gie the same levels of effort in every single game.
Facing Blackburn offers the same amount of points as playing Leeds so Monk’s side cannot afford to put in a poor performance and drop points here after beating the Whites because then it loses a lot of its significance.
They will be expected to come out with another win but Tony Mowbray’s side have shown quality this season and could well be a tough test.