Match analysis: Sheffield Wednesday reach crisis point as fans call for Jos Luhukay to go after Blackburn Rovers defeat

What began as a poor run of results has turned into a full-blown crisis.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 2nd December 2018, 9:53 am
Updated Sunday, 2nd December 2018, 10:00 am
Barry Bannan played a key role in Sheffield Wednesday's second goal
Barry Bannan played a key role in Sheffield Wednesday's second goal

Sheffield Wednesday's brittle defence was ripped apart again at a rain-lashed Ewood Park.

Blackburn Rovers scored four times and it would not have flattered them had they hit six or seven goals.

Barry Bannan played a key role in Sheffield Wednesday's second goal

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Six defeats in the last eight Championship matches has piled on the pressure on under-fire Owls manager Jos Luhukay. The majority of Wednesday's 3,500 travelling contingent called for Luhukay to be sacked after yet another insipid performance.

Wednesdayites made their feelings known in the Darwen End by loudly and clearly chanting "We want Jos out". Whether chairman Dejphon Chansiri, who is currently out of the country, will keep faith with Luhukay remains unclear.

Discontent has been growing at Hillsborough. Fans are unhappy with Luhukay constantly chopping and changing the team and tweaking their tactics.

A disgruntled Sheffield Wednesday fan

There is no escaping the fact that the Dutchman should be doing better with the resources at his disposal. Wednesday have some good players in their ranks at this level but they are not at present responding to Luhukay's methods. This team are a pale imitation of their former selves.

But a defiant Luhukay has vowed to fight on and arrest their slump in fortunes.

When asked about the dissent from his own supporters afterwards, Luhukay, a leftfield appointment last January, said: "I understand the fans' frustration. I'm also angry, frustrated and irritated.

"The expectations in this club are high. We are now not living in the past, and fans maybe live in the past from the success, but last season it was also a direction where it was not good enough.

Fernando Forestieri was brought on at half-time in Sheffield Wednesday's defeat to Blackburn Rovers

"That's why I came in January and now we sit in the same situation so we must fight against that, and we must believe that we can take us to a better period.

"Now we are in the worst period, I know that.

'But in my character, it is not that I will give up, but only solve why we didn't get a good result, or why the fans aren't happy with this.

"But I'm also not happy with this, that's why I can understand it.

Forestieri hobbled off with a hamstring injury against Blackburn

"It's not nice, but in football there will be periods where you have better results and success. We must have patience for that."


Wednesday failed to muster a single effort on goal in a dismal opening 45 minutes.

Bradley Dack had a goal disallowed and Harrison Reed struck the post from close range as the hosts made a fast start.

And Rovers eventually cut their way through the leakiest defence in the division, with Danny Graham firing home a rebound after Cameron Dawson had kept out Bradley Dack's rasping right foot drive.

Craig Conway and Dack impressed throughout with their clever footwork, movement and skill. Dack blazed over when well-placed after a neat pull back from the left by Conway.

"The opponent put us under high pressure in the first 10 to 15 minutes and after the 1-0 we had control," said Luhukay. "We played good for the 30-35 minutes before half-time but we didn't score."

At no stage were the Owls ever in control of proceedings.

Luhukay added: "Our crossing and last pass was not with precision and that's why we didn't make a goal in the first half." There is no disputing that point. There was zero end product and the team were booed off at half-time.


Wednesday knew what to expect from Blackburn's front two but were unable to contain the Dack-Graham double act. Dack claimed three assists and a goal and Graham walked away with the match ball after bagging a hat-trick on his 100th Rovers start.

'We had no control on Dack and Graham,' admitted Luhukay. 'They were involved in all of the goals.

'We know their qualities and we saw the clips on Friday of Dack's movement and his runs in front and also from Graham. We had to stop the quality from these two players and we didn't.

"We could not stop Dack and Graham and they made the difference.'


It was always going to be a big ask for Wednesday to beat Blackburn on their own turf. Rovers home record under Tony Mowbray is remarkable. Only Sheffield United have beaten them in their last 30 league matches at Ewood Park.

But the Owls put in a pitiful defensive showing. Where was the organisation and leadership at the back? Why did the midfield and forward line not drop deeper to offer more protection to Wednesday's back four? 

It was way too easy for the likes of Conway and Dack to receive the ball in advanced areas and run at them.

"We came back twice but we then gave two easy goals away,' said Luhukay. "We defended very poor again.

"We scored two times but we gave four goals too easily away and it's why we lost.

"We lose as a team and we know we must do it better.'

Wednesday showed some fight and bottle to score two goals, but they look incapable of doing the basics well on a consistent basis.