Quality needs to improve but there’s no quick fix

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AFTER seven successive defeats there’s a danger that explaining Wednesday’s current woes can begin to sound like a stuck record.

Bad luck, poor officiating, not getting the run of the ball, not taking our chances, injuries to key players.

It’s the default list of every club that has found itself in a relegation battle. And while not wanting to ignore the circumstances written above it’s funny how only struggling teams have bad luck.

If that was the case then we may as well all go home after the coin toss, because that is the only part of a match that is truly down to chance.

The simple reason why Wednesday are near the foot of the Championship is that, at this current moment, they’re not good enough.

That’s not to say tomorrow, when they travel to Barnsley, and for the rest of the season that form will continue.

I think it’s safe to say this current squad won’t be contending for a play-off spot, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that it can do enough to survive.

I wrote a piece earlier in the week about a safety target of 50 points being the minimum that Dave Jones and his players should be aiming for.

With 25 matches to play, achieving another 35 points seems quite a big task - but it isn’t impossible.

What is worth thinking about, though, is that the squad hasn’t significantly improved since last season.

It’s almost a League One side trying to cut it in one of the most competitive divisions in the world.

We’re often told that the Championship play-off final is the richest match in world football. Whether or not those figures are accurate down to the last pound, it is true to say those who prosper in will be richly rewarded.

So clubs speculate to accumulate and often, as Bristol City’s startling losses showed last week, live beyond their means. Wednesday has been there and done that. Milan Mandaric is nobody’s fool and when he bought the club he will have been fully aware about what Wednesday’s financial power is.

He’ll also know what it can be if they establish themselves in the Championship and then, hopefully, begin to contend in the top half.

In football it is relatively simple to get success. If you’re rich enough and throw enough money at it then eventually you’ll be the best.

No-one can say that Chelsea or Manchester City have built from the bottom. You can’t even say that it’s down the genius of managers (Jose Mourinho excepted) that trophies have been won.

Football is a players’ game. Put enough good ones together and they’ll win.

And when I say good I don’t just mean talent wise. A good player is motivated, fit, a team player, someone who allies his ability with a desire to be the best and, most of all, plays with his brain.

If you look at the Wednesday team from last Saturday it’s very hard to say it is better than the side that ended last year in League One.

A lot of players have been brought in by Jones since promotion but has the overall quality of the group gone up?

I’d be inclined to say no. And in a much tougher league that is very worrying.

They need to adapt - and fast - but until that occurs patience is again the key.