Dom Howson's Sheffield Wednesday column: Have the Owls reached crisis point?
Three defeats in four. Six points above the drop zone. Ten adrift of Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.
As Jack Hunt candidly admitted in an interview with The Star yesterday, the Owls must quickly come through this sticky patch.
And the big positive is there is still a long way to go. Given the unpredictable nature of second-tier, you can bank on there being plenty of twists and turns between now and May.
“We are not doing well and that is the reality but there are a lot of teams who are not doing well who have the same ambition as us,” stressed Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal.
“At the end, the teams who are more stabilised and with value will be in the first places.
“There are some clubs doing well who have a big value and because they have a positive environment. A good example is Wolves. Everything is positive. There is not a problem. Everything is positive and good. Everybody is in the same boat and in a very good way.
“It makes them more quiet in the competition and I believe the opposite is happening with us and teams that were in the play-offs last season and the teams with big expectations.
“The teams are feeling the pressure that is around.
“The teams that can manage the pressure, have value and are more stabalised will be in the first positions at the end. We think we have the value and capacity to put the team in a very good position.”
Yet it does feel like we have nearly reached a crisis point.
You know things are bad when the fans call for the manager to be removed from his job. Some of the 4,700 plus Wednesdayites who travelled to Bolton Wanderers vented their anger towards Carvalhal.
“I understand the fans; they love the club and want to win,” said Carvalhal.
“We lost a game and the performance was poor. We can’t expect them to sing and be very happy.”
Carvalhal’s position as Owls head coach is looking increasingly precarious after yet another slow start to a season.
When supporters start to lose faith in the manager, it is hard to get them back on side. Sir Alex Ferguson came back from the brink at Manchester United but that was the exception rather than the rule.
Somehow Carvalhal, a charming, genial individual, has to turn the doubters into believers.
But what has further cranked up the pressure on Carvalhal is how well Sheffield United have adapted to the division. The Blades, who triumphed 4-2 at Hillsborough last month, have spent signifcantly less cash in the transfer market compared to their cross-city rivals and look capable of being involved in the promotion shake-up.
At the moment, the blue half of Sheffield have not got a lot to shout about.