Sheffield Wednesday: The big decision for Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri to ponder going into the international break

Enough is enough.

Sunday, 1st September 2019, 07:00 am
Updated Sunday, 1st September 2019, 13:59 pm

Sheffield Wednesday need to clarify the managerial situation over the two-week international break.

Forty nine days have passed since Steve Bruce left the Championship club to become Newcastle United's boss and the Owls remain in limbo.

Lee Bullen stepped into the breach following Bruce's acrimonious exit and quickly declared his desire to fill the position on a full-time basis. He then kicked off his third caretaker stint in style by guiding the Owls to back-to-back victories over Reading and Barnsley.

Owls caretaker boss Lee Bullen

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But Wednesday's performances and results have regressed since the 2-0 triumph over the Reds. Three defeats in their last four league matches has seen them fall to 11th in the standings.

As an angry, frustrated Bullen admitted in the wake of Saturday's dismal showing to Queens Park Rangers, picking up nine points from the opening six Championship fixtures is a "bang average start". Given the standard of the opposition Wednesday have faced, it could and should have been so much more.

Bullen has, by his own admission, made tactical mistakes. His decision to select Fernando Forestieri and switch to a 4-4-2 formation failed to pay off. The R's outnumbered Wednesday in midfield in their 3-5-2 system as they recorded consecutive league wins for the first time since December 2018.

"I don't think it (4-4-2) worked overall," acknowledged Bullen. "It could have worked if we had moved the ball quicker and got the ball out to the full-backs and got 2 v 1s down the sides against their wing-backs.

"I will take the blame for that. That was my decision.

"We were a man down in midfield and we always seemed half a yard off it."

Bullen, though, should not shoulder all the blame. His senior players let him down in the second half.

Steven Fletcher's 23rd minute penalty gave the Owls the perfect platform to build on.

But Wednesday produced a dire, lacklustre display after the break as QPR fought back to claim maximum points thanks to a quickfire double from in-form striker Jordan Hugill.

"First half was okay in spells and we got our noses in front, but in the second half it looked as if the players thought they had done enough," said Bullen.

Two "schoolboy" defensive errors cost them big time, but there was a lack of pace, energy, urgency and purpose to their work. QPR played at a high tempo, won every second ball and got in the Owls' faces.

The hosts were outplayed and simply did not do the basics right. It was another limp performance.

And Bullen was found wanting tactically. He was reactive rather than proactive, only utilising his bench and adopting a 3-5-2 formation after Hugill had grabbed a second to complete the turnaround.

The R's were more streetwise in a niggly, stop-start affair and their game management in the latter stages was flawless. At no point did I ever seriously think Wednesday were going to break down QPR and get a second. It was a disappointing afternoon and a big reality check.

Now the Owls have a window of opportunity to clear up the uncertainty surrounding Bullen's role. Is he the best man to take Wednesday forward in the long-term or do the club need to look elsewhere at other possible alternatives?

Chairman Dejphon Chansiri must act now if the Owls are to get their campaign back on track.