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PUNDIT’S PREVIEW: HINCHCLIFFE PRE-SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY

13 September 2019

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Andy Hinchcliffe gives the lowdown on the Owls prior to Sunday’s derby

- htafc.com spoke to Andy Hinchcliffe ahead of Town vs Sheffield Wednesday
- Sky Sports commentator looks ahead to Sunday’s Yorkshire derby
- Hinchcliffe details what to expect from the visitors

Former Sheffield Wednesday defender, and now Sky Sports Commentator, Andy Hinchcliffe gave his thoughts on the Owls ahead of Sunday’s game at the John Smith’s Stadium, in this week’s Pundit’s Preview!

The appointment of Garry Monk

It’s a positive. The work he did at Birmingham was very impressive, obviously what happened at the end wasn’t great in terms of how he left the Club, but I felt he did incredibly well in terms of the squad he had and the financial situation there.

They’ve got a good squad of players at Wednesday now; I’m sure Garry feels he can mould that team and get them moving (up the table). He could be the man to do that because the Club have been looking at doing that for a few years now.

There’s a squad there that he can mould, like he did at Birmingham, into something that’s hard to beat and will win games. I see it as a very positive move as he’s proved himself in the Championship to be a good coach.

Monk’s style of play

What he’ll have to do is assess the squad, look at the strengths and see what is the best way to play with this group of players. He did a similar job at Birmingham; he had a look at the squad and played in a way that suited the group of players that were there at the time.

He’s got more choices at Wednesday so he can perhaps be a bit more expansive, but he’ll have to look at how they’ve played within the formations Lee Bullen has used and really go from there but I’m sure he’ll quickly work out the best way to go about it.

Key players that could flourish under Monk

He’ll start at the back, that’s the foundation of any team, but you look at the likes of Steven Fletcher and Fernando Forestieri – I’ve always looked at Forestieri as a game changer, if he can be incorporated into a solid team, he could be really effective. It’s a shame that his ban was upheld as he’ll miss the weekend’s game.

I look back to when I was at Wednesday when we had the likes of Paulo Di Canio and Benito Carbone, those two won us games and I’m not saying Forestieri is as good as those two, but he is someone who is different and can light up a game.

They’ll have to win games as a team, but I think there’ll be a number of individuals who will work well under Garry’s system, he’s very ‘hands-on’ and I think the players will look at what he’s done in the past and believe they can benefit from working under him.

The season so far

You look at their performances and they could have quite easily been higher in the league table, but you have to be clinical and take your chances because the Championship is relentless. You can see there’s a lot for Garry to work with even though the results haven’t been great.

They need consistency now and the ability to give themselves a chance in every single game, you have to do that if you want to be successful in the Championship. You can’t look at the next game after the one you have coming up, everything has to be done right from day one and I’m sure Garry will be looking to do that.

Aiming for a change of fortunes on the road

You’d think that it would be the other way around and Wednesday would perhaps struggle more at Hillsborough with it being such a great stadium and with the demands of the crowd, but it’s been away from home that they’ve come unstuck more often than not in recent times.

In the Championship, it’s what you’re willing to do away from home and this is Sheffield Wednesday, it’s a big club, so wherever they go it’s not going to be easy.

They have to improve, there’s no way you can finish in the top six at this level without picking up points away. It will be interesting to see if Garry can get that change in mentality and get the team picking up points away from home, I’m sure he’ll be working on that.

A visit to Danny Cowley’s Huddersfield Town

It’s an unusual one; I can’t remember a Championship game after the September international break where you’re going into it with two new managers in the dugouts, taking charge of their first game.

What Danny and Nicky have achieved at Lincoln, how they’ve adapted and the football that they’ve played, it seems the right kind of appointment for me.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Huddersfield Town’s season turns around quickly starting on Sunday, it seems like they’d taken that negative mindset of being relegated last season into the Championship, so now this break and Danny coming in is like a clean slate for everyone.

Key battles

The first thing the fans will want to know is how both managers are going to get their teams playing, but it’s difficult to say because they won’t have had a lot of time to work with their respective squads.

I think we’ll maybe get an insight into what both managers want to do going forward both selection and tactical wise. It’ll be a tough game to call, but the real interest for me will be the five or six games after that because it’s when we’ll get a real flavour for what these sides can do this season.

I see it being a high tempo game with both sides looking to put a marker down for the season – it’s exactly what you want from a derby game like this.


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