A fast start, jeers and same old mistakes as Sheffield Wednesday fall to Wigan Athletic

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Sheffield Wednesday were downed by Wigan Athletic in their final official friendly – and there will be some familiar worries from the Owls faithful.

Wednesday were bright as the game begun, and took the lead through Ben Heneghan – who was once again solid throughout – however a mistake from Marvin Johnson allowed James McClean to open the scoring, and things got worse in the second half as Tom Naylor and Josh Magennis made sure that Darren Moore’s side went home without a victory. Thelo Aasgaard then wrapped things up in the final couple of minutes.

It wasn’t all bad for the men in yellow, but 4-1 – even in a non-competitive game – is not something that they’ll be at all happy with.

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Out of the blocks

Wednesday’s start to the game was fantastic… They put early pressure on Wigan, won lots of balls, pressed high, and knocked the ball around really nicely.

The wingbacks were playing high up the field and there was plenty of overlapping, with a fair few crosses going into the box – on the flip side, Wigan weren’t able to have any sort of joy in the Owls’ half.

They were rewarded for their efforts when Heneghan headed home a Bannan corner, but even after that they didn’t let their tempo drop.

Sheffield Wednesday were beaten 4-1 by Wigan Athletic.Sheffield Wednesday were beaten 4-1 by Wigan Athletic.
Sheffield Wednesday were beaten 4-1 by Wigan Athletic.

Even Iorfa, playing as the right centre back, could be seen in Wigan’s final third as Wednesday pushed hard against a team that will be playing next season in the division above them.

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Pure sloppiness

The tide did turn a little bit as the game went on, but – as so often been the case – Wednesday were at the heart of their own undoing.

Leam Richardson’s side had barely had a sniff apart from a long-range effort fired well wide and an ambitious lob that David Stockdale watched wide, but then Johnson put it on a plate for James McClean with a sloppy backpass, and he was able to saunter round the keeper and slot into an empty net.

So many goals last season – which ultimately cost Wednesday promotion – were on the back of elementary mistakes made by themselves rather than because of quality from the opponents, and Moore will have been frustrated to see another today. Even if it was only in a friendly.

Those set pieces

And another problem area last season was set pieces, with so many other goals being conceded from corners and freekicks around the box. It’s something Moore has spoken at length on, and will have spent plenty of time working on over preseason, but again they conceded from an all-too-familiar situation as the Latics took the lead.

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Naylor was left completely open at the far post, Stockdale started to come for the ball then tried to go back to his line, and ultimately the Wigan defender was left with all the time in the world to find the back of the net.

A Windass subplot

It was an unhappy return to the DW Stadium for Josh Windass, who has a turbulent relationship with the Latics fans… He was jeered in the warm-up, and they took pleasure in any failed attack that he was involved in. He did nearly get on the scoresheet with a sweetly-struck freekick, but it wasn’t to be.