Sam Winnall Watch: How Sheffield Wednesday's new striker performed on his Owls debut

Some wanted him to start, some felt a place on the bench was a better way to kick-off his Sheffield Wednesday career.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 15th January 2017, 5:51 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th January 2017, 6:26 pm
Sam Winnall made an impressive debut for Sheffield Wednesday against Huddersfield Town on Saturday
Sam Winnall made an impressive debut for Sheffield Wednesday against Huddersfield Town on Saturday

Given what happened after the break, the former rather than the latter may have prevented us all from bearing witness to a turgid 45 minutes of football in Huddersfield Town's visit to Hillsborough.

Sam Winnall's name appeared among the substitutes and the sounding of his name by the PA announcer before the game was greeted by a vociferous roar from the Wednesday faithful.

Sam Winnall and Sam Hutchinson at the final whistle

Just a day after the transfer from Barnsley was officially confirmed, Carlos Carvalhal decided against throwing the new boy straight into the starting line-up but it took just one half of football for the head coach to turn to his latest acquisition. A forgettable match, to that point, needed a spark and Winnall provided it almost immediately following his half-time introduction.

Wednesday had been labouring - both teams were, which meant for a game completely devoid of thrills - but the 25-year-old's arrival seemed to provide something of a spark. For those in the stands and more importantly, on the pitch.

All of a sudden there was a new dimension to Wednesday's play. In the first half Steven Fletcher, who could have been carrying a knock, was being forced to come deep to pick up the ball and he was also found just once with a cross in the entire half, which he headed harmlessly over.

Now there was more pace in the front-line and Huddersfield struggled to deal with the movement of Winnall up front.

Sam Winnall and Sam Hutchinson at the final whistle

There was a sense that the Terriers knew all too well of the threat posed, even if they had been yet to face the striker this season. Looking at Ross Wallace's goal, there were two players closer to Winnall and another keeping a close eye on the run, leaving the Owls midfielder in acres of space to find a shot, which flew into the top corner.

After that, Winnall showed more of the movement that had hitherto been lacking; holding his run and out-witting defenders who were wondering where he was going to end up. Eventually they'd lost him, with a pass from Fernando Forestieri, in the end, just a little too heavy and Winnall was denied by the onrushing Danny Ward in the Town goal.

For Forestieri's goal, Winnall sucked in Town's central defence as Barry Bannan pushed forward and the ball would find its way to Callum McManaman who twisted and turned and shot. Forestieri threw out a boot and nicked it.

Dynamic would be the best word to describe the debut. That's how Wednesday as a team had been billed this season following their exploits in the last campaign, but until now they have yet to live up to that. With Winnall now in the ranks, they could be about to...finally.