Five talking points after Sheffield Wednesday 1 Bolton Wanderers 0
Sheffield Wednesday returned to winning ways, edging past relegation-threatened Bolton Wanderers after a second half goal by captain Tom Lees at Hillsborough last night.
Here is a selection of talking points after an unconvincing Owls victory.
Wednesday's first half showing was dreadful
Jos Luhukay's side were deservedly booed off at half-time. Their performance was desperately poor. They looked devoid of energy, creativity and flair in the final third as they struggled to break down a stubborn but limited Bolton outfit.
As Luhukay was quick to point out in his post match press conference, the players looked "very nervous" and afraid to take risks on the ball. Their lack of confidence and belief was there for all to see.
"We find not the good combinations to come to good chances or to scoring a goal," conceded Luhukay. "I think the pressure was high and you see it in the first half on a lot of players in my team."
There was a startling lack of quality and appeared a clash between two of the worst sides in the division. It was a grim, uneventful affair and easy to see why Wednesday and Bolton have struggled to win matches over the last couple of months.
Jordan Thorniley fully justified his recall
It was a baffling decision by Luhukay to leave Thorniley out of the team against Derby County last weekend. Thorniley should have retained his place in the starting eleven, having acquitted himself superbly in the Sheffield derby before the international break, but Luhukay dropped him to the substitutes bench.
However, the talented youngster was restored to the backline on Tuesday and put in typically strong, wholehearted display. Deployed at left-back, which is not his favoured position, Thorniley did an admirable job.
Luhukay said: "We know what we have with Jordan(Thorniley). He is a character player, a mentality player. He gave everything that he has."
Thorniley is a good prospect and a player with a lot of potential. He deserves to be the first name on the teamsheet when Wednesday travel to Blackburn Rovers this weekend.
A clean sheet at Hillsborough at long last
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Wednesday's defensive problems have been well-documented so far this season so it will have done Cameron Dawson and his colleagues a power of good to keep a shut out on Tuesday evening.
Dawson was barely called into action, with Bolton demonstrating exactly why they are the lowest scorers in the Championship.
There are tougher test looming on the horizon but two clean sheets in the last three matches at least gives the Owls a platform to build on. Not to mention a first home victory since August 25.
It is a small step forward
A win is a win but no one should lose sight of the fact that a better team than Bolton would have comfortably beaten Wednesday. Under-fire Bolton manager Phil Parkinson was right when he said the Owls were "there for the taking". They were in the opening 45 minutes.
Fernando Forestieri's half-time introduction lifted the crowd and gave Wednesday a much-needed boost. Their performance after the restart was better (it could not have got any worse) and they got the job done.
Yet the reality is Wednesday made hard work of beating one of the worst sides to visit Hillsborough in years.
"We must not now be satisfied," said Luhukay.
This victory does not paper over the cracks. There are plenty of areas that Owls urgently need to sharpen up if they are to carry on climbing up the table.
Low attendance is a clear indication that there is real apathy in the stands
Lots of Wednesday season ticket holders made a stand and voted with their feet by staying clear of Hillsborough for the vital Bolton showdown. There were thousands of empty blue seats on show.
The official crowd was 20,861 - their lowest gate of the campaign - but there was never in a million years that many inside the ground. Regardless of whether they turn up, season ticket holders are included on all attendances.
Many Owls supporters are unhappy with the way the club is being run and are demanding change. A large section of the fan-base have turned on Luhukay and called for his head.
As a club, Wednesday have gone backwards over the last 18 months and people have lost interest. There is a negative mood around the place and, if attendances continue to drop, it will eventually have a significant financial impact on the club.