Whoever first said “attack is the best form of defence” would be proud of Sheffield Wednesday right now.
Just seven goals in as many Championship games might not appear to show it. But stats can lie – just as only four conceded, and five clean sheets, might suggest a team grinding out results. In fact, there appears to have been a significant shift in emphasis under Stuart Gray.
Despite a continuing need to increase his options up front, Gray has gone 4-4-2 home and away, shunning the lone striker system that contributed to the demise of predecessor Dave Jones.
And while Wednesday would be glad to reprise their last home result against Saturday’s visitors – a cavalier 5-2 victory over Reading – they would not care to repeat what came before and after.
That was last season’s first league win – at the 13th attempt on November 2. This time they have three already and have only lost once. Skipper Glenn Loovens and Tom Lees have been significant additions at the back, but you feel the change in mentality – more confidence and conviction – stems as much from offensive positions. Certainly, with an expensive capture in Stevie May on board, Wednesday are a much more attacking side than the goals for and against columns would seem to show. I notice the inventor of “fortune favours the brave” also putting his hand up – except there has been nothing remotely lucky about this outstanding start.