Garry Monk described today’s 5-0 home thrashing by Blackburn as “a horrible day for us and our fans” … and Wednesday supporters witnessing such a total collapse had plenty of harsher words to say about the performance.
Many of the 23,504 crowd had left long before the final whistle as we turned in a display totally lacking in aggression, cohesion, energy or intensity and supporters were left asking where was the ‘heart and courage’ Monk praised his team for after the recent wins at Brighton and Leeds.
It was a woeful performance from start to finish with the side appearing to feel they just had to turn up after those two excellent away victories and the three points would be ours.
Blackburn, six games without a win, had other ideas and we paid a heavy price with the thumping defeat also seeing us dropping from sixth to 10th place and two points off the play-offs.
Monk said: “It’s two steps forward and one step back with that performance and result.
“As far as I’m concerned it was the first ten minutes that cost us. We didn’t take our opportunities to move forward, we turned around or moved sideways and you can’t do that in the Championship.
“We’ve been punished in the worst possible way.
“It hurts, it hurts a lot, but one thing for sure is that we will stick together as a group.”
He added: “It’s a horrible day for us and our fans. We can’t self inflict like we did in those first ten minutes. It’s a hurtful scoreline to take. You have to give yourself a foothold in the game, we had opportunities to do it but turned it down and invited pressure.”
Blackburn looked the more progressive side from the early stages of the game and it was no surprise when they took the lead on 20 minutes, Adam Armstrong’s close-range effort was pushed away by Cameron Dawson but Lewis Holtby was on hand to slot home when the ball was headed back into the danger area.
Three minutes later, Wednesday were reduced to 10 men when Massimo Luongo was red carded for a challenge on Lewis Travis.
Mon felt it was a harsh decision, adding: “It changed the complex of the game but I am not using that as an excuse because we let ourselves down today.”
Ten minutes from half time Rovers doubled their lead, Travis seeing his curling shot tipped onto the post by Dawson, only for the ball to rebound onto the back of the keeper’s head and into the net.
And a miserable first 45 minutes for Wednesday was completed just before the break. As with the first goal, we were exposed down our right-hand side and after Armstrong was allowed to dribble into the box, Holtby was able to knock his pull back over the line for goal number three, with the Wednesday defence in disarray.
Tom Lees came on for the second half, taking young defender Osaze Urhoghide out of the firing line, and Sam Hutchinson replaced Kieran Lee in midfield.
However, the game was all but over within minutes of the restart, Darragh Lenihan easily losing his marker at the far post to crack home goal number four from Stewart Downing’s corner.
That marked an exodus of hundreds of home fans and, for those who stayed, sadly there was to be no hint of a fightback.
Hutchinson was just off target from the edge of the box but that was just about it from Wednesday as an attacking force and Blackburn completed the five-goal rout in added time when Sam Gallagher ran through to fire past Dawson.
Dawson, Urhoghide (Lees 46), Iorfa, Börner, Fox, Reach, Bannan, Lee (Hutchinson 46), Luongo (sent off 23), Murphy, Winnall (Nuhiu 36). Unused subs: Wildsmith, Pelupessy, Harris, Rhodes.