Sheffield Wednesday: Where the Owls need to improve next season

The curtain may have only come down on Sheffield Wednesday's 2018/19 Championship campaign just over a month ago but there is already a sense of excitement amongst the Owls supporters ahead of next season.

By George Smith
Tuesday, 11 June, 2019, 14:30
Dominic Iorfa chipped in with goals last season - but more will be needed from across the squad

Wednesday experienced a season of two halves last term, suffering terribly under former boss Jos Luhukay in the opening half of the campaign before flirting with the play-off places in the latter stages of the season under Steve Bruce.

In the end, Wednesday finished a respectable 12th. It was seen as a good effort considering they were 17th and on just 35 points when Bruce officially took over the reins on January 31.

Next season, though, promises to be different. Bruce is expecting his Owls team to mount a promotion charge and aim to end their Premier League exile.

But for that dream to become a reality, Wednesday are going to have to improve a whole host of things.

Here, we have picked out three improvements that Wednesday must make to mount a promotion assault...

A FAST START

We have said it every year since the Dejphon Chansiri era began, but Wednesday have still not found a way to make a quick start to a Championship campaign.

In August, over the last four years, the Owls, who will discover their fixtures for the new Championship campaign in under a fortnight's time, have won just five out of 20 matches, taking just 23 points from a possible 60 in the process.

That is a concerning figure, with Wednesday's best August performance, surprisingly, coming in their only August under Luhukay when they took seven points from their first five matches.

It is an issue that needs addressing and it is down to the players to show everyone that they still haven't got their flip-flops on.

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MORE GOALS FROM THE DEFENCE

Back in April, Bruce made a claim by saying that "you're only as good as your strikers." Bruce has a whole host of attacking options to choose from at Hillsborough, with the Owls currently boasting a tally of six recognisable strikers on their books.

But whilst the likes of Jordan Rhodes, should he stay, and Steven Fletcher will be expected to deliver the goods on a regular basis next season, it is important that everyone else chips in with the goals when they can, particularly defenders when they come into the attacking areas for set-pieces.

Last season, only seven of Wednesday's 60 league goals came from defenders, with three of them coming from January recruit Dominic Iorfa.

Everyone needs to chip in with goals where they can and Wednesday's defensive stars need to start showing their qualities in the air when looking to connect with corners and free-kicks inside the penalty area.

A REGULAR FLOW OF GOALS FROM THE STRIKERS

As already touched upon, Bruce has a plethora of attacking options at his mercy. From the tall and physical Fletcher to the quick-feet of Forestieri, it is a strike force that has an array of qualities.

But consistently getting goals out of it was a tall order. Though Wednesday scored 31 times through four of their strikers last term, none of them found the net on a consistent basis.

The best goal-scoring run that any of Wednesday's forwards went on was when Fletcher scored five in six matches between the end of February and mid-March.

Next term that needs to be different. Wednesday need a consistent source of goals that they can rely upon to deliver the goods all season long.