Yorkshire news Murphy, Wickham and points deductions - Full Owls' Q&A transcript MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - A full recap of every question and answer from Dom Howson's Q&A on the Owls
Breaking News ! Q1: When is the outcome of the EFL hearing going to be announced and do you think we have any chance whatsoever of winning? DH : The case is still ongoing. It is hardly surprising given the complexity of the charge. The outcome of the hearing could possibly be this week but it wouldn’t shock me if we don’t find out until next week. I have not been given an indication on what it will go. All I know is both sides are confident. I know for a fact that the Owls believe they have a strong case, hence why they have contested the charge. Q2: Kieran Lee has impressed me in the last two games. Is he playing his way to a new contract? Also what’s the latest with Adam Reach? Are you expecting him to start anytime soon especially with the number of games about to be played in a short space of time? DH : I have been really impressed with Kieran Lee. I thought he was busy against Forest and was excellent on Sunday. He covered so much ground and helped provide the platform for Barry Bannan to show his quality with the ball. If Lee carries on playing at this level, I definitely believe he is playing his way to a new contract. Read More Related Articles Sheffield Wednesday confirm the loan extensions of Wickham, Da Cruz, Murphy and Windass Read More Related Articles Garry Monk sends stern warning to Sheffield Wednesday players before West Brom test He will certainly give the club a decision to make moving forwards. As for Reach, he is just waiting for an opportunity to stake his claim. It is hard to leave out Jacob Murphy or Kadeem Harris right now. They have been excellent in the wing-back positions. But I am sure Reach will get his game time in the Owls' final seven matches. It is a packed schedule so Reach will certainly have a part to play in the run-in. Q3: Do you think the culture at the club has improved since the departure of the senior players? DH : It is probably a little too soon to say. The fact is Monk would have liked to have kept Morgan Fox and Steven Fletcher as part of his rebuild so it is disappointing they are not sticking around. Monk has made it clear he is keen to bring in young, hungry, dynamic players. He needs time to put his own stamp on things and assemble a squad capable of challenging for promotion. It is interesting Monk has stated that he thinks there has been a shift in attitude since the players returned to training. He feels they have used that period of reflection well and sees a determination in the group to make amends following their dismal poor form pre-lockdown. Q4: What is the real reason Garry Monk has fallen out with Sam Hutchinson and Keiren Westwood or will we never know? Keiren Westwood has been frozen out whilst Sam Hutchinson has now left Sheffield Wednesday. DH : To the best of my knowledge, Monk has not fallen out with either of them. He just wants to take the team in a different direction. Hutchinson is a class player at this level when he is fit but it is impossible to build a team around him - he is simply not going to play 30-plus games every season. Westwood is in the twilight of his career and was dropped by Monk in November because his form was not up to scratch. He made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes. Monk is adamant Cameron Dawson and Joe Wildsmith are the future of the football club. Both are 24 and have their best years in front of them. Q5: Is Josh Windass injured and is there any idea when he might return? DH : Yes, Windass is still recovering from a thigh injury. He is unlikely to be involved against WBA or Swansea. But Monk is hopeful he could be involved in the last four or five matches. Q6: Do you feel Tom Lees needs a new challenge elsewhere? Wednesday's captain Tom Lees (left). DH : It will be interesting to see what Wednesday do with Lees at the end of the season. He has lost his place in the team and I thought it was very telling that Monk didn’t turn to him at Bristol City after Julian Borner went off with a knock. Fair enough, Morgan Fox is naturally left-footed so I get it from that point of view. To be fair to Fox, he slotted in and did a solid job for the team. But Lees has been in and out of the side this year. He has struggled for form and consistency. At his age, Lees will want to play every week. If Monk can’t guarantee him that, perhaps he might think the time is right for a new challenge. Q7: If the worst happens and Wednesday get deducted 12 points, do you think the team could still get enough points to stay up? What points tally do you think will be enough this year? DH : Good question. Wednesday are 10 points clear of the relegation zone with seven matches remaining. If they were deducted 12 right now, they would be two points adrift of safety. Virtually all of the teams at the bottom won over the weekend. The one thing you can always guarantee with the Championship is there will be twists and turns. The old cliche of anyone can beat anyone is very true.
. We know they have got a tough run-in but they have got nothing to fear if they carry on performing like they have done since the restart. Q8: Are Kieran Lee and Atdhe Nuhiu being offered longer deals past the end of this season? DH : Quite possibly. I think it will all depend on how they perform between now and the end of the season. Lee has done himself no harm at all with the way he has played against Forest and Bristol City. There were signs of the old Kieran Lee: the underrated, box-to-box midfielder who was so vital in the team that reached back-to-back play-offs.
Kieran Lee has performed well since the restart.
Like Lee, Nuhiu has been a good servant to the club. We have seen Nuhiu finish seasons strongly before to earn fresh terms so you wouldn’t put it past the big man to turn on the style in the remaining matches. Q9: How likely do you think it is that any of the loanees will stay long-term? DH : It could be difficult to re-sign Wickham. If he keeps banging in the goals, his value will continue to soar and he will potentially attract interest from other clubs in the Premier League and the Championship. Plus, he is on big wages. He would have to take a big pay cut to sign for Wednesday on a permanent basis. Wednesday have an option to sign Da Cruz following the conclusion of his loan deal. He has shown flashes of his quality but he needs to do a little bit more for me. Monk rates Windass highly and dropped a big hint about him last week.
Josh Windass has been restricted to just four outings for Wednesday.
He has got no future at Wigan. Depending on the fee, that could be a possibility. Jacob Murphy has a host of admirers so Wednesday would face strong competition to sign him on loan or a permanent. But as his agent recently underlined, he has enjoyed his time at Hillsborough and would be open to a return. Q10: I realise it’s probably dependent on what division we’re in next year, but are there any indications of any sort of transfer budget for next season? We need a pretty big rebuild job! DH : It is pretty clear free transfers, clever loans and wheeling and dealing are likely to be central to Monk’s summer rebuild. But saying that, I think there will be some funds for Monk to play with. I don’t expect them to splash millions and millions. However, they will be looking for bargains and maybe players that don’t cost massive fees similar to what have they managed with Dominic Iorfa and Massimo Luongo. Q11: Where do you think GM will be looking to strengthen in pre-season, both first choice and squad? DH : Up front could be a priority. We don’t know what is going to happen with Wickham, Windass or Nuhiu. They could look really light on options in attack come the end of the season. Monk is resigned to Fox not re-signing so a new left-back/left sided defender is required. I would like to see them bring in another wide player. They may have to do anyway if Murphy doesn’t return. In all honesty, I think every area, bar the goalkeeping department, probably needs strengthening. Q12: It was reported earlier in the week that Wednesday had already got to work in the free agents market, ahead of the expiration of contracts. Seeing that Jackson Irvine, Marcus Maddison, Grant Hall, and Stephen Kingsley are available, are there any names or targets that you are aware of? And would the free agents be able to play this season? DH : Free agents would not be allowed to play this season. Monk will have to work with what he has got in the final seven matches.
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I have looked at the list of free agents who will be available. I’m sure players like Irvine and Maddison won’t be short of interest. I have not heard names yet but it is probably a little difficult for Wednesday to plan when they don’t know what division they will be competing in next season. Regardless of the strange situation Wednesday find themselves in, Monk has stated work is going on behind the scenes in terms of new recruits. Q13; If the Owls stay in the Championship, do you think Morgan Fox could change his mind and sign a new deal? DH : No, I don’t think so. Monk joked after Bristol that he would try to change Fox’s mind and persuade him to play in the remaining matches. Fox lost a lot of goodwill with Wednesday fans after declining a short-term contract extension. Strange things can happen in football but I don’t think there is anyway back from that.
Source = MetiNews.Com