Just when things started to look rosy again, out comes another shocking result to bring down the mood once more.
Here are five talking points from Bolton Wanderers 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1...
BLAMING OFFICIALS IS A COP OUT
First things first...Carlos Carvalhal is absolutely right when he says that Sheffield Wednesday should have had a penalty (would you bank on them scoring it?) when Kieran Lee was brought down by David Wheater. Incredibly, Lee was booked for diving, too, which was absolutely preposterous. He was also right that they were denied goals against Birmingham and Leeds due to incorrect offside decisions. What he was wrong about, though, was concentrating on the referee's inadequacies when the focus of his annoyance should have been on his under-performing team. Had the home side been blessed with a better striker they could have been three or four up before Wednesday even had a sniff of a comeback. I get that Carvalhal wants to protect his players but to try and deflect attention away from them further reinforced a point made a few weeks ago whereby I felt he doesn't believe they have the mental toughness to take criticism. The team was terrible on Saturday; the defence appalling, the midfield predictable and the forward line, though feeding off scraps, were poor when presented with a chance. The referee didn't let in two terrible goals or miss from a couple of yards out. Wednesday have very good players, they were taking on the Championship's whipping boys and therefore Carvalhal should not be relying on playing the victim card when losing to a side such as Bolton.
WEDNESDAY BETTER SCORE FIRST
This team looks afraid. They start slowly, allow teams to get at them and if the opposition has anyone with a threat in front of goal then Wednesday are likely to concede. Leeds didn't and paid the price. Bolton, in Sammy Ameobi, did and that turned the game. When a team go in front against Wednesday of course they'll become harder to break down, that leads to growing frustration in the stands and then inevitably on come a load of attackers and they'll hope for the best. It's baffling that Wednesday continue to allow teams to force the issue early in games, indeed you'd be surprised if it wasn't part of the opposition manager's team talk. Look what happened against Nottingham Forest. Wednesday attacked from the outset and eventually broke them down. They may have conceded soon after but there was enough confidence gained from the start to keep them going. That performance was the exception rather than the norm. Slow starts are being punished and they will continue to be unless Wednesday begin taking on board the old adage of attack being the best form of defence.
WE'D PROBABLY TAKE A BIT OF BOREDOM RIGHT NOW
At present Wednesday's performances are so extreme that we could probably do with just finding some sort of middle ground. There's nothing between, they're either excellent or terrible - surely there's not another team in the division that produces such polar opposites in terms of performance. Carvalhal hinted after Saturday's game that perhaps they might need to be more compact. That could mean the hard-working, grinding-out of results, that became the hallmark of last season reappearing and to be quite honest, it wouldn't do any harm. What this team seems to need is the morale boost of a run of 'decent' results, have confidence built from that and then begin again to try and show the flair that is definitely within them when they get going again. A couple of boring, methodical 1-0 wins, beginning games on the front foot, would or at least should get them back on track. That defence needs a bit of work, though.
NO CASE FOR THE DEFENCE
It's remarkable how poor they have become and while naming an unchanged side against Bolton from that which beat Leeds was a fair enough call from Carvalhal, the backline definitely now needs tinkering with. One of that current central defensive partnership seemingly has to drop out. Tom Lees is off form and currently needs to work on his own game but that means that newcomer to life in the Championship Joost van Aken isn't getting the help and guidance he needs. So, drop van Aken for the tried and tested Loovens/Lees pairing that reaped so many clean sheets over the past few years? Does he drop Lees and have the calm, experienced Loovens hold van Aken's hand? Or does he stick with what he has and hope they improve? At present the latter doesn't appear to be the best course of action, so there's a tough decision to be made there this week.
Once again they turned out in huge numbers on Saturday. Once again they were subjected to a sorry display but for the first time, a sizable number voiced their disapproval in the direction of Carvalhal. Without asking all of them on their way out of the ground whether they were part of the crowd that chanted 'We want Carlos out!" it's impossible to know whether it was a minority, but there was certainly enough of them to loudly make themselves heard at the Macron. It is said that once you lose the fans you never win them back. Carvalhal probably has just enough goodwill in the bank to prevent the dissenters from rising too far in number, but you can be sure that another sorry display like Saturday's could well turn the tide completely against him.