Dom Howson’s Sheffield Wednesday column: How Owls can silence their critics

Glenn Loovens
Glenn Loovens
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Tomorrow the Owls kick off their 150th anniversary campaign against Preston North End and there should be a buzz of excitement around the place.

There should be plenty of reasons for Wednesdayites to be optimistic heading into the 10-month Championship marathon.

But everything feels a little flat and far from rosy in the Owls garden.

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A competitive ball has yet to even be kicked in anger but a lot of the fan-base appear disillusioned. To some extent, I understand the negativity. No one can argue that it has been a frustrating summer off the pitch.

Although there was a fair amount of constructive criticism at the Steering Group meeting on Wednesday, some fans voiced their displeasure over the club’s slow recruitment drive and their home and away shirts only being unveiled a couple of days ago.

A lack of strength in depth at centre-back has cost the Owls points during Carlos Carvalhal’s reign. It is a position which Wednesday have failed to adequately address in the last three transfer windows and it was alarming how easily Rangers found gaps in their backline in Sunday’s friendly. Someone needs to come in as soon as possible to challenge Tom Lees and Glenn Loovens for a place in the starting eleven.

Offers have gone in for defenders since the transfer market reopened. But the bids have been rejected, forcing the Owls to look at other potential recruits.

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Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations is limiting Wednesday’s spending power but I can’t help but feel the club missed an opportunity to maximise their commerical revenue streams over the summer break. It is deeply unfortunate the Owls had trouble finding a suitable manufacturer for the kit but the harsh reality is that it should have been out and in the shops weeks ago. And there should be merchandise and memorabilia in the club shop to commemorate the major landmark Wednesday will reach on September 4.

Modernising the club shop and improving their product range is on Dejphon Chansiri’s to do list and it is commendable how much he is trying t0 enhance their facilities.

But that’s a job for the future. Right here and now Wednesday need to get off a flying start and more than 5,700 supporters will be roaring them on in Lancashire. If that doesn’t give the players inspiration, nothing will.

Indeed, a few positive results over the coming weeks would go a long way to silencing the doom-and-gloom merchants.

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