Sheffield Wednesday: Dom Howson's five talking points from Owls' 4-0 win over CD Nacional

Carlos Carvalhal speaks to the Portuguese media after their 4-0 win
Carlos Carvalhal speaks to the Portuguese media after their 4-0 win
0
Have your say

Sheffield Wednesday brushed aside Portuguese side CD Nacional 4-0 to seal their third successive pre-season win last night.

Fernando Forestieri, Gary Hooper (2) and Steven Fletcher were all on target as Carlos Carvalhal's men maintained their fine form.

Wednesday's players cool down after their triumph

Wednesday's players cool down after their triumph

Here are my five talking points from Wednesday's routine victory:

1) Good to see Keiren Westwood back out there

It was Westwood's first outing in almost two months but he showed no signs of rustiness. With under a fortnight to until the big kick-off, it was important Westwood got minutes under his belt.

Westwood, who spent the summer away on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, looked assured throughout, commanding his area with class and authority. It was a good match to throw Westwood back into as Nacional offered little as an attacking force. The top-tier Portuguese outfit rarely troubled Wednesday's depleted backline.

2) Fernando Forestieri is a joy to watch in full flight

The little forward took his tally to three goals in as many pre-season matches. You just knew he was going to make the net bulge after latching on to Lucas Joao's perfectly weighted pass.

But it was Forestieri's all-round contribution that stood out. He pressed and harried Nacional's defence into submission. When Forestieri receives the ball, his first thought is to always go forward and how he is going to break down a defence. He is so dynamic and is worth the admission money alone. It is vitally important Forestieri avoids any injuries as he's irreplaceable in this side.

3) Lack of strength in depth in defence highlighted again

The last thing Wednesday needed was to pick up some more injuries defensively. But Lady Luck was not on their side as Jack Hunt and Sam Hutchinson were withdrawn after less than half an hour yesterday. Carvalhal doesn't expect Hunt (hamstring) and Hutchinson (quad) to be out of action for long but it shows how thin they are on the ground that Jose Semedo had to play as an emergency centre-half for over an hour of the friendly.

It is imperative Wednesday bring in at least one new centre-back and two left-backs as soon as possible. If they want to push on and challenge for promotion again, some more proven, tried and trusted players are required in those positions.

4) Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper haven't taken long to strike up a partnership

Wednesday stepped things up in the final half an hour against Nacional. Their superior fitness and class came to the fore, with Fletcher and Hooper profiting.

Fletcher has quickly acclimatised to his new surroundings and some of his link up play with Hooper was outstadning. The Scotland international created Hooper's opener before Hooper returned the favour in the closing stages. They already looks like there is a good understanding between them and it has all the makings of a dangerous double-act.

Neither Fletcher or Hooper are blessed with great pace but they are quality finishers at this level. If they get decent service, they will do some serious damage.

5) The playing surface was not up to scratch

Over the years, the Owls have played several times at the Estadio Municipal Stadium but the playing surface, by all accounts, was the worst it had ever looked. The pitch lappeared worn and bobbly in places, which affected both teams' attempts to pass the ball. It is quite possible that the poor surface also contributed to Hunt and Hutchinson's knocks.