After hearing from Garry Monk in his initial press conference last week, I was eager to hear more from him ahead of his first game in charge. The press conference last Friday was relatively short, and the pre-match presser I felt would offer us a bit more insight into everything. And it did.
I want to start by saying I thought our new manager spoke very well, and it was undoubtedly an engaging interview. He even made time for a laugh and a joke here and there, which I think is always great to see. While there is a slightly relaxed demeanour, I don’t believe this is in any way a negative, and his informative responses gave us a chance to learn about Garry Monk, the football manager.
Two words which have been mentioned several times by Monk already are mentality and clarity, and I think both will be crucial for us moving forward. Monk, by all accounts, is massive on having players with the right mentality as he believes this, along with physicality and aggression, are the keys to doing well in a division he knows very well in the Championship.
Consistency is another buzz word for Championship managers, and while Monk recognised the need for it to be successful at this level, he’s also aware that it can be elusive too. Again, this shows his knowledge of the league and what’s required. Monk will, therefore, be clear in what he asks of the players, leaving no grey areas, as he aims to get us doing the basics well. That will provide us with the foundations as he looks to implement small changes, rather than overwhelm the players with too much too soon.
Monk was keen to point out that there’s a good squad here, which we all know to be the case, and he’s aiming to get the best out of the players at the club. He mentioned everyone had been receptive of what he was asking, which is always a good sign and that things were being taken on board quickly.
I think this will prove to be crucial during the opening games for Monk, as there is a demand for success at the club, as well as good performances. He mentioned how getting results quick then allows for a longer-term plan to be implemented, and I’ve always believed this to be the case. By getting off to a good start, it will enable work to be done in the background to shape Wednesday into a side which looks and plays as Monk would like, and that will, of course, be the long term aim for everyone.
Speaking of everyone, something which can often get lost on some managers is the ability to keep everybody happy, even those who may not feature regularly. While Monk oversaw a smaller squad in his last managerial position, he mentioned that he needs everyone on board as they will all play a role this season. I think this must be the case in the Championship, with the schedule being particularly relentless. So, I’m eager to see how Monk goes about rotating to keep everyone on their toes and feeling like they’re a part of it.
Finally, I was pleased to hear how Monk will try and get us going as a team on the pitch. While he recognised the need for us to be adaptable, he wants us to play on the front foot and to focus on what we do. So, by the sounds of it, we will be aiming to take the game to the opposition, and this will be to the delight of every supporter I’d imagine.
I think the presser reassured anyone who may have had a doubt or two that we have a proper manager in place at Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how we line up Sunday and beyond, and what changes Monk makes. While we’ll be taking it one game at a time, I’m airing on the side of optimism moving forward.