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'Worst in the club's history': What Pulis said the last time he succeeded Garry Monk

Tony Pulis was confirmed as Garry Monk’s successor for the second time on Friday, this one as manager of Sheffield Wednesday.

Pulis took the reins of Monk’s Middlesbrough side on Boxing Day 2017 and remained in post for 18 months.

In that time, the Welshman led Wednesday’s Championship rivals to fifth – losing in the play-offs to Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa – and seventh – after a late-season collapse which cost him his job.

And he will hope to have a similarly uplifting effect on the Owls, whom he finds 23rd in the standings.

It remains to be seen what Pulis will make of the squad left behind by Monk after a transitional summer transfer window, conducted in difficult conditions with Wednesday on minus points and in the middle of a global pandemic.

But this is what he said last time around at Boro:

“I’m not going to turn water into wine,” he told The Guardian. “I have to make sure that I have a good look at the place before I start making any predictions.

“What I will say is that there was some very good play from us at times. I liked the attitude in the dressing room at half-time too – it was very good. The club is ninth in the division [at the start of the day], but if everything at the club was spot-on and working well I wouldn’t be here talking, Garry still would be. There are problems, and there have been problems here. It’s just about finding out what they are.

“The best thing we can do is get this club winning again, get the team winning, and get back in the Premier League, but that does take time. For me to stand up after being here for 12 or 13 hours [and talk about winning promotion], it’s too much to ask.”

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And, reflecting on his Middlesbrough spell earlier this year, Pulis told Five Live: “Recruitment is everything.

“That window [the one Monk oversaw before Pulis arrived] was probably the worst in the club’s history and it takes two or three years for a club to recover from that.

“Yes, two or three years, very much so. Because if you have a bad window and bring in players who have not performed and they are on enormous amounts of money, who else is going to take them?

“You are very, very lucky if you can get rid of them, especially a whole group of them. You might be talking about six or seven players earning big wages. Who will take them?

“The other thing is that you have to balance is are you going to get your money back if you do sell them?

“Football clubs are run as a business as well and chairmen look at these players and think ‘we are not going to sell him for half the price we paid for him’ after just 12 months.

“Then you think ‘the kid hasn’t shown it in the first year but he might show it in the next’ and then you get yourself in a whirlwind. It is very dangerous when you get caught in it.”

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Fortunately for Pulis, those issues should not be as grave at Wednesday who, according to Transfermarkt, had a net spend of around £1 million in the previous transfer window, in which Monk’s recruitment received widespread praise.

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