Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk admits it is difficult to ignore the threat of a potential points deduction as the club await the outcome of an EFL misconduct charge.
Wednesday are pushing for a place in the Sky Bet Championship play-off places and underlined their credentials with Saturday’s 1-0 win at Premier League Brighton in the FA Cup third round.
However, the Owls’ season could yet hinge on an alleged breach of EFL financial rules relating to the sale of Hillsborough stadium to owner Dejphon Chansiri.
The South Yorkshire club have said the charges will be “vigorously defended” but, if found guilty, possible sanctions include a points deduction, financial penalty or expulsion from the league.
Monk was in charge of Birmingham when they were last season deducted nine points in similar circumstances and has urged his squad to overlook the uncertainty and concentrate on onfield matters.
“Of course it’s there. Players and everyone, you are human beings, of course you are going to read and see things and wonder things,” said Monk.
“But I spoke to the players on the very first day it came out. I’ve got experience from Birmingham of that.
“I said there will be more things that will come along the way that you will hear and see but the most important bit is that you focus on what we’re trying to do.
“The only thing that we can control – and is our duty to do – is the football. That’s our job.
“We’ve done well enough at that but there will be other things that come out along the way – but we have to concentrate on the only thing that we can control.”
Wednesday have denied all allegations put forward by the EFL after it opened an investigation into the club’s profitability and sustainability submission for 2017-18.
The charges relate to “how and when” Hillsborough was sold to a company owned by Chansiri for around £60million.
Following three successive league defeats, Monk’s men sit two points outside the top six as they attempt to end a 20-year exile from the top flight.
Wednesday winger Adam Reach, who claimed the winner at the Amex Stadium, is desperate to become a Premier League player and feels victory over the Seagulls can provide confidence for the team to push on.
“Yeah, that is the aim, that is my aspiration,” the 26-year-old said of playing in the top flight.
“I want to be a Premier League player just like everyone else in our dressing room because we believe in ourselves and we think we have the right man in charge and the right players to challenge.
“I want to get there and in stadiums like this against Premier League clubs and come off on the winning side, it gives us belief we can get there.
“We are good enough to play there. But it is one thing thinking it and one thing actually doing it.”