Garry Monk admitted he is facing the most challenging time of his managerial career after Wednesday turned in another woeful performance in a 3-1 home defeat to Derby.
After four points from the last two matches had sparked hopes of a much-needed upturn in form, we found ourselves three-down after just 30 minutes – gifting two of the goals to the visitors – and leaving Monk saying: “It is one from extreme to another in this period. Today was a very lucky deflection on the first goal but then we compound that with some really poor mistakes individually and give away the next two goals.
“When you’re three goals down it is then a massive mountain to climb. Yes, we were much better in the second half but that’s too little, too late.
“What you can’t do in this league, or in any game, is gift teams an advantage like we did today. It was extremely poor and, once again, I’m sat here with a feeling of ‘that’s unacceptable’.”
Monk reflected on the inconsistency in team performances, on the pressure he faces after another heavy home defeat and said it was the most challenging moment of his six-year career as a manager, adding: “I have been in difficult moments and difficult periods before but not quite to the extremes we are getting here.”
The latest reverse means we have won just twice in the last 13 league games and the manager said: “I clearly understand that it is not acceptable and the consistency of results in this period is not good enough. It is my responsibility,”
He appeared as frustrated as anyone at the inconsistency and added: “Once the players cross the white line I can’t do their jobs for them.”
Monk continued: “I know the work that I do works. I have seen it work here in the period we had leading up to Christmas. You just don’t get into third for no reason, so obviously the work does work.
“But it needs a lot of things to go with it to be right and we haven’t got enough of those things right. Whether that’s mentality, attitude, quality … it’s an accumulation of all those things but ultimately it’s my responsibility, I understand that.”
On the injury front, Monk said that Steven Fletcher was withdrawn at half time as a precaution as he was suffering tiredness after his lengthy injury lay-off.