Dave needs someone to start scoring vital goals

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A FOOTBALL personality was heard to say the other day that all his team needed to do to improve was concede fewer goals and take more of their chances.

That sounds just like Wednesday, I thought, frivolously.

But there is no ignoring the fact that the Owls have conceded 23 goals and netted only 15 in 12 league games.

It seems to me that they need a goalscorer, someone who can turn tight games their way or capitalise when they have dominated possession and made chances as they did at Blackburn.

That player is more likely to have to come from within the ranks than from outside. You don’t pick up good, Championnship-standard strikers on emergency loans easily.

Dave Jones has assembled his strike force and has got to hope that someone comes good.

It says a lot when Chris O’Grady and left-back Reda Johnson are the club’s joint top league scorers with three each. Add O’Grady’s two in the Capital One Cup and overall he is out on his own with five.

Rodri arrived in a fanfare. scored on his debut and looked an exciting signing. Then, it appears, he was not adjusting to English football quickly enough to hold down a place in the side.

Gary Madine was last season’s scoring ace in the League One campaign with 18 goals. He would say, indeed has said, that he is disappointed not to have been given more opportunities in the team this season. But he was one of those who missed a chance at Blackburn.

In the cases of both Madine and summer signing Chris Maguire, Jones, who obviously sees all his players in training every day, appears to have been unconvinced about their ability to make a big mark in the Championship at this stage of their development.

Jay Bothroyd looked an important signing, with a track record as a Premier League or Championship centre forward, but first needed to build up his match fitness, then was switched to a new role on the right side of midfield in a new formation that featured only one central striker.

Bothroyd, not tied down to the wing and finding space in various areas, has done a good job in that role, an outstanding one against Leeds, as a creator. But the team also need that extra punch up front. Maybe they could revert to having two out-and-out strikers.

The trouble is, and as Jones has remarked in the past, there has been a tendency this season for the club to get one thing right then see another go wrong.

The present formation, with Jose Semedo in front of the back four, and four players across midfield ahead of him, helped to make the team more solid.

The flow of goals has been reduced, though not enough to earn clean sheets. If Jones goes back to 4-4-2, does it increase the risk of more goals being conceded?

It is a question of achieving the right blend and balance at both ends.

Wednesday have played some good stuff in recent games in the middle third of the pitch, but what matters most now is results, no matter how they are achieved.