How a couple of days off and a week between games helped Sheffield Wednesday find their form at last

Three of the Wednesday goalscorers, Jordan Rhodes, Morgan Fox and Ross Wallace
Three of the Wednesday goalscorers, Jordan Rhodes, Morgan Fox and Ross Wallace
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Five games in 15 days is a big ask for any team, so it perhaps shouldn't have been much of a surprise that of those, Sheffield Wednesday won their first three and lost the last two.

The Owls looked leggy against Brentford and laboured at Leeds, so with finally the prospect of a full week between games, Carlos Carvalhal set to work ensuring that his players had recuperated, were refreshed and were ready for the challenge of Norwich City at Hillsborough.

Barry Bannan congratulates Jordan Rhodes on his second goal of the day, set up brilliantly by the Scot

Barry Bannan congratulates Jordan Rhodes on his second goal of the day, set up brilliantly by the Scot

According to Barry Bannan, it worked a treat and an emphatic 5-1 result would certainly back that up.

Carvalhal had appeared very confident in the build-up to this match, as if he knew the plan in the week had paid off.

He said in his pre-match press conference: "This game we have a week to prepare, the strategy, the players to recover energy but we are ready for a difficult game, understanding that the opponents are strong but they will play against a strong team."

The recovery was crucial, but perhaps more so, the two days off given to the players and with it, an opportunity to rest the mind as well as the body.

Ross Wallace celebrates his goal against Norwich City

Ross Wallace celebrates his goal against Norwich City

Bannan said: "Obviously losing the last two games, the gaffer gave us a few days off to think about it and we came back refreshed on Tuesday, had a good week's training, changed the way we are going to play at home and we had a few days to work on it in training. Everybody put a good shift in this week and it shows in the result."

Everything seemed to all click into place and Bannan says the high-tempo start which was key to victory must now be maintained.

"I think it was a very good performance from everybody," he said. "Recently there have been a few players on form and some that haven't and you need everybody at it and I think that's what happened.

"We changed the way we played at home. We set off from the start to close people down and not let people come here and enjoy themselves and I think that's the way forward at home. I think it shows we can go out and press the best teams in the league."

Goalscorer Ross Wallace, whose 40 yard thunderbolt set Wednesday on their way, was of a similar mindset.

"We have players who can produce a bit of magic" he said. "Also, we worked hard, closing down, and working off each other.

"We had come away from that a little bit, maybe with the new players (in January), but they have started to adjust and get to grips with that now. Hopefully that performance can kick us on."