Dom Howson’s Sheffield Wednesday column: No reason for Owls fans to panic despite shaky start

Gary Hooper
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There is no point in trying to dress up the facts.

The reality is Wednesday should be desperately frustrated and disappointed at having only picked up two points from three Championship matches. Boss Carlos Carvalhal demanded a strong start but that has failed to materialise.

Already the team are playing catch up on their rivals.

Given how strong the Owls have been on home soil in recent years, Carvalhal would have banked on beating at least one of Queens Park Rangers or Sunderland. Ultimately, Wednesday only had two draws to show for all their efforts.

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Lapses in concentration have cost the team at vital moments.

And Fulham, last season’s play-off semi-finalists, will provide stern opposition tomorrow as the Owls chase their first league win.

It has been far from an ideal start but there is no reason to panic just yet. There were some encouraging signs on Wednesday night that suggested things are gradually beginning to click and come together.

Performances have improved match-by match. The midfield diamond is a work in progress but has looked effective in patches. Barry Bannan is relishing his new role and in outstanding form. Adam Reach is ‘Mr Reliable’ whether he plays at left-back or on the left wing. Gary Hooper is improving with every match.

There are other reasons for Wednesdayites to remain positive.

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Glenn Loovens, Sam Hutchinson and Kieran Lee - three players who have been instrumental in Wednesday’s rise - will return to action over the coming days and weeks (Loovens could even be fit for the clash at Craven Cottage). Their experience and quality add extra class to the spine of the team.

Fernando Forestieri has a big point to prove after his latest indiscretion. He has apologised to his teammates and Carvalhal for his training ground spat with Sam Winnall but the best way for the forward to say sorry is by making and scoring goals on a consistent basis again. Don’t be surprised if he plays some part and makes a telling contribution on Saturday.

A new centre-back was long over-due and hopefully Frederico Venancio will come in and make an instant impact. Carvalhal wants one more in that position before the window shuts a week on Thursday. There will be no obvious weak areas in the squad if the Owls pull that off.

Regardless of their shaky start, things are definitely not as bad as some would have you believe at S6.

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