Sheffield Wednesday 0 Reading 0: Jordan Thorniley, Rolando Aarons and no killer instinct: Five talking points after Steve Bruce’s first home match in charge
Sheffield Wednesday were held to a goalless draw in Steve Bruce's first home match as Owls manager.
Owls writer Dom Howson picks out four talking points from the Championship encounter at Hillsborough.
Wednesday came flying out of the blocks and almost went ahead inside the opening two minutes but George Boyd was thwarted by the reflexes of Emiliano Martinez. The Owls were on the front foot and took the game to Reading. Martinez was forced into action on a number of occasions as Bruce's side bossed the first half. It was just a shame they failed to turn their dominance into goals.
With skipper Tom Lees unavailable for selection, the left-sided defender was handed his first Championship start since December 15. Thorniley, who came through the ranks at Everton, seamlessly slotted into the back four. He was strong in the air and composed on the ball. At 22, Thorniley is still developing as a player and he should only improve under Bruce's tutelage.
The wide man was introduced in the 65th minute and he added a creative spark. His pace and direct style of play troubled Reading’s defence at times. It was an encouraging cameo on his home debut. The Newcastle United loanee looks an exciting player and he will be hoping he has done enough to earn a starting spot for Tuesday’s trip to Millwall.
Wednesday are now unbeaten in their past six home matches. Their last defeat on home soil came back in November. If they are to turn themselves from a mid-table side into a team capable of mounting a promotion challenge, it is vital the Owls turn Hillsborough into a fortress.
A MISSED OPPORTUNITY
Reading were there for the taking, particularly in the opening 45 minutes, but Wednesday lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. Although the Owls have defensively improved, recording seven clean sheets from their last 11 outings, the team must get better as an attacking unit. Their play was too slow and laboured after the break. The second half showing underlined the job Bruce has on his hands if he is to take them to the next level.