Huddersfield 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday: Garry Monk wins first Owls game
Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash at the John Smith's Stadium
Last Updated: 15/09/19 4:53pm
Garry Monk won his first game in charge of Sheffield Wednesday, beating Huddersfield - and fellow new manager Danny Cowley - 2-0 in the Sky Bet Championship.
Both coaches were appointed during the international break, and it was Monk who got off to the perfect start as Steven Fletcher nodded home in the 10th minute.
Huddersfield played some lovely football but lacked that finishing touch as Sheffield Wednesday sealed the victory in the 72nd minute with Sam Winnall glancing a header into the back of the net.
The result moves Sheffield Wednesday up two places into 10th on 12 points while Huddersfield remain second from bottom with just one point and are now winless in 17 league games.
How Monk won the battle of new managers
Huddersfield began the game well but it was Sheffield Wednesday who took an early lead with a wonderful team goal. Barry Bannan fed Kadeem Harris down the left and he easily drove past Florent Hadergjonaj before putting a cross into the area. Fletcher was waiting to nod it home from close range, giving Monk the perfect start as Owls manager.
- Huddersfield made two changes with Tommy Elphick and Lewis O’Brien coming back in for Jaden Brown and Rajiv van La Parra.
- Sheffield Wednesday also made two changes with Morgan Fox and Fernando Forestieri replaced by Jacob Murphy and Moses Odubajo.
It was Huddersfield who had the better chances in the remainder of the half, although found it difficult to break down a well-drilled Wednesday defence. Terence Kongolo almost created an opening in the 17th minute, driving towards goal before an unintentional give-and-go with Fraizer Campbell, but Kongolo was unable to get to the ball back as Julian Borner sent it just over the crossbar.
Jonathan Hogg tried his luck with a long range effort in the 27th minute, coming after a cleared corner, but it lifted well over the bar. Not long after, Kongolo was involved again, hammering an effort towards Keiren Westwood, who could only palm the ball away but Sheffield Wednesday were able to clear.
There was a penalty shout for both sides inside the first 15 minutes of the second half, but there was not enough contact on either Josh Murphy or Karlan Grant for a spot-kick and were correctly called by the officials. Huddersfield also had their best chance of the game in the 56th minute, but another fierce drive from Kongolo was palmed away well by Westwood, getting down low to see the ball away with an outstretched hand.
But Sheffield Wednesday doubled their lead in the 72nd minute with some more good play. Harris and Bannan were involved again, with the Owls captain turning provider this time. He was picked out at the top of the area by Harris before floating the sweetest of passes into the area, picking out the run of Winnall, who glanced the ball home for his first Wednesday goal since August 2017.
Seven minutes later and the visitors could have made it three. Liam Palmer drove down the field before pitching the ball towards the back post for the incoming Fletcher. However, the Scotland international couldn't quite get there as the ball flashed passed his outstretched feet.
Man of the match - Barry Bannan
It was a captain's performance from Bannan, who pulled the strings and dictated play in the middle of the park on his 150th league start for Sheffield Wednesday. He made four crosses - one of which led to an assist for Winnall - and had a passing accuracy of 85 per cent.
Sky Sports co-commentator Keith Andrews said: "It's been a solid performance by a lot of Sheffield Wednesday players but Bannan has been a class apart.
"He's played a very responsible role and hasn't been as involved in terms of touches in possession as he normally would have been but when he has been, it has been devastating, no more so than for the cross for Winnall's goal."
Garry Monk: "When you first come in and you're working with a really short period of time, you're never going to expect it to be exactly what you want or perfect but what I've tried to do this week with the players is give them little samples of what we want to try and be. You saw today that it wasn't perfect but their first attempt at some of the stuff we were asking of them was very good, I was very pleased.
"It's an away game, it's a derby and with everything that has gone on this week too, you know it's going to be a tough game in this environment. Defensively, we didn't suffer too much on our goal and we had the best attempts in the game. The offensive side needs a lot of work but we've got good players with quality.
"The nucleus of this squad has been together for three or four years now. They had a great first two years when they got to the play-offs consecutively and then the last two years, there have been questions about the group. We're at a big club and the expectation will always be to push for promotion back to the Premier League. The problem is that there are a lot of teams who want to do the same."
Danny Cowley: "I thought we learnt a lot. I think we saw a football club that's hurting and a team that is too. They get very affected by the scoreboard, which we anticipated and expected and what we have to do is try and help them, both technically and tactically but also physically and psychologically as well.
"They need my help, not my criticism at this point. To give a fair assessment, you can only look at the areas we've worked on in the past few days because you can't cover everything in such a short space of time. We're getting to learn and understand the players and for us in the short term, we need to strip it back to basics and understanding.
"Sheffield Wednesday were the significantly better team on the day. We didn't pass with enough purpose, we didn't move the ball quick enough, we kept allowing Sheffield Wednesday to get into their 4-4-2 shape and it's very hard to play against a team who put 11 men behind the ball. We need to move it quicker and get more speed on it. To be fair to the players, we've done a lot of work without the ball this week and now we need to start looking at how we build."
Huddersfield are live on Sky Sports again next Sunday as they travel to West Brom (kick-off 12pm). Sheffield Wednesday will host Fulham on Saturday.