Looking back on last Friday's defeat at Brighton, Sheffield Wednesday have got to try and take the positives out of the performance.
Without forgetting the disappointment of: 1, the result and 2, the manner in which it came about, I do believe that if Forestieri had scored the penalty they would have gone on to win the game. The penalty miss not only deflates you as a team but it also gives the opposition a massive boost. Brighton were probably thinking they were about to go 2-1 down and have only 10 men with Murray having seen red. Instead they are back in the match at 1-1 and you have to give them credit that, with a man down, they still had the desire to get men forward and snatch a winner in the last few minutes.
Regarding the penalty, a deliberate handball, stopping a goal scoring opportunity like that, should be punished severely. I have read in some quarters that the handball should have only been a yellow card, which would then see what looked like a certain goal resulting in a mere yellow card because of the missed penalty - not enough punishment for me!
During that second half Wednesday were on top and it looked like there was to be only one winner. I felt they were far more positive than in the first half but I they can be even more positive in possession. I am not the first to complain that there are too many sideways and backwards passes. Yes, I appreciate that you want to keep possession but they still have to ask more questions of the opposition and I don’t think they do that anywhere near like they did last season.
At times this season they have had spells where they have reproduced that form, and when they play this way they look a real handful but there are too many periods in games where we have very little tempo.
Defenders hate to be facing their own goal, having to deal with quality crosses in between you and your goalkeeper are a defender's nightmare, not dissimilar to Brighton’s winner where Glenn Loovens may well have thrown his boot at it, but I’m sure was concerned that he would have scored it himself. In those situations you just hope that if you do leave it, or can't get there, the attacker behind you has maybe misread the situation and can not make it himself. Unfortunately, on Friday, Knockaert didn’t miss much at all and showed the quality in the final third that I think we have been lacking.
What they can not allow to happen is for their disappointment to become ill discipline and to finish with just nine players is totally unacceptable. The manager has acknowledged this and will apparently deal with it internally, but I am sure there would have been a few harsh words said in that dressing room afterwards and the trip back to Sheffield would have been a long and quiet one!
There are quite a few days' rest until the Bristol game and I would be looking for a very positive reaction from the group. It is getting tight in that top half of the table now and every point dropped seems to have double the impact, but you can only concentrate on yourselves and the next performance at Bristol City.
I thought they were good value for at least a point when they came to Hillsborough and I was mightily impressed with their on-loan striker Tammy Abrahams, who, at just 18 years of age played with a maturity and aggression of somebody way beyond his years. He’s definitely one to watch for the future and the question will be whether Chelsea can fulfill his needs now he has tasted regular football at a very good level. Bristol City seem to be in free-fall at the minute with eight straight league defeats, so lets hope the Owls can go there and make it nine!
Jon Newsome is the owner of prestige, sports and performance cars specialists, Automarques
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