Former Sheffield Wednesday defender on how the Owls back line can fire again after run of errors
Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk has pinpointed repeated defensive errors as one of the reasons behind their spiralling run of form over recent weeks.
Dominic Iorfa, Julian Borner, Tom Lees and Cameron Dawson are among the players to have cost the Owls goals as a miserable run of one win in 10 matches has seen them tumble from a pre-Christmas position of third.
And former Wednesday centre-half Jon Newsome, who played over 60 matches across two spells at Hillsborough, believes it’s confidence that has caused their defensive downturn in what was for much of the season among the best defences in the Championship.
Newsome – who won the title with Leeds United – likened the current run with his final weeks at the club, their final season in the Premier League.
“It all boils down to confidence,” he told The Star. “It’s the be-all and end-all for me. They’ve made mistakes and their confidence has taken a bit of a knock.
“It’s a snowball effect. When you’re on the top of your game you’re full of confidence, you make hundreds if not thousands of different decisions and when you’re on top of your game they’re instant and automatic.
“When you’re struggling a bit you analyse everything and let it become an issue.”
Newsome is now 49 and works as a radio pundit. And while he admits recent errors by goalkeeper Dawson will be creating an issue for his defenders, it’s the whole team that needs to stamp the problems out.
“You need confidence in the guy that’s behind you as a defender. When you’re playing in front of a keeper who’s positive, who’s reliable and you know what he’s going to do, it fills you with confidence. You bounce off him.
“But when you concede goals it’s not just about the back five with the goalkeeper. It has to be a unit.
“I’ve looked at some of the goals we’ve conceded in recent weeks and we’re not defending from the front. They’ve carved us up in the middle of the park.
“These are the things that added up become a big issue.”