We got what we deserved – Monk hails Wednesday spirit after late leveller

New Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk praised the fight and spirit of his players to keep battling to the finish as his first home game in charge ended with a last-gasp equaliser.

Fulham seemed set to grab all three points at Hillsborough as they led heading into stoppage time via skipper Tom Cairney’s 42nd-minute strike, only to be denied by substitute Atdhe Nuhiu’s header in the fourth minute of five added on.

After starting his reign as Owls boss last weekend with a 2-0 win at Huddersfield, the point gained at home to Fulham delighted Monk, who said: “We pushed right to the end, and got what we deserved, which was a point.

“I said to the players at half-time that it won’t be the last time they face a goal deficit so if they wanted to be a team, to build as a team, then they had to show character, and to come out and fight in that shirt, and I thought they did that wonderfully well.

“There are definitely things we need to work on, but the foundations of fight, spirit, character and organisation, to come fighting back the way we did are most important, and we saw that today.”

Fulham dominated the game in terms of possession, with 71 per cent in their favour, but aside from Cairney’s goal, Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood never had a meaningful save to make, and was almost redundant in the second half.

Instead, it was Wednesday who carved out the bulk of the opportunities, with visiting keeper Marcus Bettinelli making some good saves, while captain Barry Bannan also clipped a post in the first half.

At the death, one last attack culminated in Nuhiu reacting at the far post to a deep cross from Kadeem Harris that had taken a slight deflection into his path.

Gutted Fulham boss Scott Parker said: “When the goal comes so late, and in the manner it did, it is disappointing.

“In the end, it’s basic defending which has cost us and we sit here with one point instead of three.”

With the Cottagers now on a run of five games in all competitions without a win, Parker added: “We keep doing what we are doing.

“It’s all about fine margins in what is a tough league. Last week against West Brom it was the same when a mistake cost us.

“Today, in the dying stages, you are trying to hang on to something, to get three points and get things rolling. But it’s not been the case.

“So we move on and we dust ourselves down. We’ve got a good squad, I believe in what we are doing, and we have the quality in the squad to win matches.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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