Now let's make Hillsborough a fortress again, starting against Birmingham City: Jon Newsome's Sheffield Wednesday Column
There has certainly been a solidity brought back into the team since Jos Luhukay was given the job a few weeks ago.
In the past five games we have conceded just one goal, which is in stark contrast to how we have been doing previously this season. When you consider we kept just one clean sheet in the previous seven games before his appointment then it is not difficult to see the difference.
I think change of formation to a back three or a three with wing-backs has suited us and helped us restore some of the defensive confidence that we had shown in the previous couple of campaigns.
It seems that the manager isn’t afraid to change the personnel either and has shown a very good understanding of the game in the short period he has been here. You can see the difference in performances of some of the players that weren’t necessarily involved under Carlos and sometimes the change can be a breath of fresh air to the squad.
Looking at the two games in the past week it was an excellent result against Reading in the FA Cup. Being in the next round really is the be all and end all of cup competitions but over the past couple of seasons Reading have tended to come and do a bit of a job against us so to win it 3-1 was impressive. They side-stepped a possible banana skin and are into the next round. Lo and behold and who do we draw but a potential date with Mr Carvalhal? Obviously his Swansea side will have to overcome Notts County before it is a definite tie but in all honesty you would expect that to happen.
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I don’t have anything against Carlos, I only met him on a couple of occasions and he was always fine with me, but I just wonder if he will now regret a few things about his departure and subsequent new role at Swansea. He was always very charismatic when he was here and often talked about his love for the club and the fans and yet within a couple of days he was Swansea manager and was fulfilling his destiny. The thing is, football has a really nasty habit of biting you on the backside. Who in their wildest dreams would have expected us to potentially be facing a side managed by him within a month or so of his departure?
Onto Middlesbrough and another side that we haven’t done so well against over the last few years. Another shuffle of the pack and yet again, another clean sheet and a very good point away from home. Good away performances and results do wonders for players confidence and it was yet another example of the players showing their willingness to buy into the new manager's philosophy.
What is very important is to get back to Hillsborough being a very difficult place for visiting teams to come to. With the arrival of a rejuvenated Birmingham on Saturday it is these types of games that we really need to stamp our authority on and take the vitally-important three points.
Make Hillsborough a fortress, get at the opposition and the crowd will give you all the support and backing that you need. It's definitely going in the right direction and if and when a few ore of the injured lads return the future is looking promising!