A subtle return to realism at Sheffield Wednesday from the boss - Alan Biggs

It was a throwaway line from Xisco Munoz after Sheffield Wednesday finally broke their Championship duck - but revealing all the same.
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“For us to stay in the Championship we need a good squad, not just a good team,” he said.

Forget the squad stuff. The beginning of that sentence is a point subtly made.

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Staying in the Championship is not the official target for this season so, in an indirect way, the new manager is putting down his own marker.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Xisco MunozSheffield Wednesday manager Xisco Munoz
Sheffield Wednesday manager Xisco Munoz

And I think he’s right to do so, not least in fairness to himself.

Xisco is not being defeatist, just realistic. For all the early criticism of his tenure, you can’t imagine any supporter disagreeing with his assessment.

In another world, blown out of the sky, Wednesday might have been attacking this division, even if top half would have been my expectation limit.

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Now, after tumultuous change and the late rushing in of eleven new players, Xisco has much sifting and sorting to do.

And you can’t put a price on the point he put on the board in last Saturday’s goalless draw at Leeds.

It came as something of a life raft for the Spaniard, 43 this week, who would have faced a fierce fortnight’s buffeting without it.

Now he can use the international break as a buffer and start to put some stabilisers into a perilous voyage.

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No-one can truly want to see the Owls rip it all up and start again. Results are needed to prevent that and in an ideal world Xisco will get the time to put the pieces together rather than see them scattered to the wind.

To that end, it’s important to see the season for what it is at this stage.

While he has been backed with many new bodies, the level of recruitment has been modest, certainly not geared to top half.

That said, the last two incomers - John Buckley and Jeff Hendrick - look a cut above some of those who went before.

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So it’s not unreasonable to expect Xisco - who has wisely veered back closer to the formation and personnel of his predecessor - to make some sense of it.

And he is right - establishment in the Championship is where it’s at for now.

Successive home games against Ipswich and Middlesbrough will tell us a lot about whether it can go any higher.