Sheffield Wednesday: SIX things we learned from Owls’ defeat at Birmingham City

Glenn Loovens
Glenn Loovens
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Sheffield Wednesday received a taste of their own medicine on Saturday after falling victim to an injury time goal at Birmingham City, days after the Owls beat Bristol City in a similar fashion.

It was yet another failure on the road for Carlos Carvalhal’s side, but what else did we learn?

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Don’t panic!

Starting semi-positively, yes it’s not been the start many anticipated and the away form is dreadful, but Wednesday are still better off now than they were at this stage last season. There will be a lot more twists and turns in this freakishly competitive division and the team are a lot better than results are showing.

Fletcher oozes class

Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper

That back heel...just superb and made better by the cheers from the home fans that immediately preceded it as Fletcher slipped. The Wednesday forward may not be getting as many goals as he or fans would like but his all-round play is excellent. Once he starts banging them in on a regular basis, there’s not a defence in the Championship that will be able to contain the Scotland international.

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Keiren Westwood is having a nightmare

There’s no doubting his ability and in my opinion the Owls keeper is still the best No. 1 in the Championship, by a stretch, however, no one should be exempt from criticism and Saturday’s conceding of a penalty was an incredible display of poor-decision making. Rushing out as he did, feet first, on Clayton Donaldson, not least when the defence seemed to have things covered, was bizarre. It comes quickly after a howler at Brentford a few weeks ago and though he’s won many points for the Owls since joining, it could be argued Westwood has cost them five so far this term. Not good enough by his, albeit very, high standards.

Keiren Westwood

Keiren Westwood

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Glenn Loovens wasn’t ready

It was a tough call for Carlos Carvalhal to make in the absence of Sam Hutchinson in the centre of defence but he may have made the wrong wrong in picking loovens over Sasso. The skipper, in his first appearance this season after ankle surgery, looked off the pace and was fortunate not to concede a penalty. Perhaps he will have shaken off the rust after that game and push on but a few more for the Under 23s would do no harm.

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Clayton Donaldson brought down for the penalty by keeper, Keiran Westwood.

Clayton Donaldson brought down for the penalty by keeper, Keiran Westwood.

Liam Palmer needs to find a happy medium

The right back slot at Wednesday is a bit of a conundrum. Liam Palmer is, or was, arguably a better defender,, while Jack Hunt is better going forward. It gave Carvalhal different option depending on the opposition. Palmer though, has improved considerably in an attacking sense - see his cross for Nuhiu’s headrer which struck the bar - but defensively he appears to have suffered as a result. Palmer should have picked up Lukas Jutkiewicz in the build-up to the winning goal and there went a point. Not entirely his fault, of course.

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Adam Reach missed on the wing

Carvalhal had little option but to play Reach at left back but it was a shame that we didn’t get the same opportunity to see him produce more of what we saw against Bristol City. His versatility is an asset but hopefully, from a Wednesday point of view Daniel Pudil recovers soon, as Reach’s talents are somewhat wasted as a full-back.

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Owls Carlos Carvalhal with skipper Keiren Westwood at the final whistle

Owls Carlos Carvalhal with skipper Keiren Westwood at the final whistle