The past few weeks have been turbulent ones for Sheffield Wednesday with the club's first league defeat of the season at Brentford paling into insignificance with news and speculation regarding the court case in relation to unpaid taxes.
Thanks to the Co-operative bank the wolves from HMRC have been kept from the door, temporarily at least and the week appeared to be ending on a high note as boss Alan Irvine was awarded with the League One manager of the month accolade for August.
The Scot took over at Hillsborough in January and was bitterly disappointed that the efforts to avoid relegation from the Championship last season came up agonisingly short on the final day.
The drop led to an overhaul of the playing staff at the cash-strapped club with plenty of players leaving on expiry of their contracts and Irvine had to wheel and deal in free transfers to rebuild the squad.
Nine new faces appeared before the start of the season and whilst the quality of players coming in brought plenty of promise and optimism getting them to gel from the off would be a big ask.
A well-earned victory at home to Dagenham and Redbridge was a potential banana skin avoided and this was followed up with a League Cup win against Bury and a decent point at Colchester.
Wednesday then saw off the challenge of Gus Poyet’s revamped Brighton side at Hillsborough before losing out in an entertaining cup tie at Scunthorpe, their only defeat of the month.
This setback was soon shook off however as the Owls finished the month in style, crushing Hartlepool 5-0 on their own to turf to finish August in top spot.
The off-field events have served to highlight the pressure and constraints that Irvine and his team have to work within and they would have been very keen to shift the focus back onto the field for last weekend's top of the table clash at home against Carlisle.
The well-fabled manager of the month curse struck early against Brentford and haunted Irvine again as Carlisle ran out 1-0 winners at Hillsborough.
This defeat brought a bad week for the club to an end, and it's now time for Wednesday to put off field matters on the back burner and try to get back to winning ways.
Three points at Plymouth on Saturday will be just what the doctor ordered.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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