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Dom Howson’s Sheffield Wednesday Column: Another super September in store for Owls?

Carlos Carvalhal
Carlos Carvalhal
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Three home matches, two TV dates and an exciting clash against the old enemy.

We are going to find out what this Wednesday squad is capable of over the busy September schedule.

After an indifferent start to the campaign, the Owls won’t be heading into a tough-looking batch of fixtures full of confidence. Their performances and results have so far been inconsistent and the bright start boss Carlos Carvalhal targeted failed to materialise. No early marker was laid down.

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But the beauty of the Championship is things can change very fast. Two or three wins on the bounce can catapult teams up the table.

And what is particularly encouraging for Wednesday is that this is a month where they typically find some form and momentum. It is easy to forget but Carvalhal was nominated for the September manager of the month award last year after leading the Owls to four wins in five matches. His record was also pretty respectable in 2015, with the team picking up seven points immediately after the first international break.

Did Wednesday get everything they wanted and needed in the recent transfer window? Almost, but not quite. A lack of genuine pace out wide remains a slight cause for concern. Ryan Kent would have been ideal.

Yet the Owls can be satisfied with their business. Things look much healthier at centre-back and in central midfield than a few weeks ago. Nobody will be coming or going until January at the earliest (Unless Wednesday explore the free transfer market).

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The big question now is: how many new signings will Carvalhal play from the start against Nottingham Forest tomorrow evening? Frederico Venancio, Joost van Aken and Jacob Butterfield have all had at least a week to adapt to their new surroundings.

As for Forest, Mark Warburton’s side will be looking to prove their disappointing home showing to Leeds United was a one-off. Although they were second best in that contest, Forest have a host of skilful, energetic, athletic forwards who can trouble the vast majority of defences at this level. Underestimate them at your peril.

And there will be no respite for Wednesday after Forest. Brentford are in a false position at the bottom of the league, Cardiff City are flying, Sheffield United have made a positive start and Birmingham City have promotion ambitions of their own.

It promises to be a testing period but the Owls possess the quality and numbers to cope.

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