It’s not exactly cracking the flags on the field, either. After all the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with an inferior Gillingham side, matters were flipped at Home Park on Tuesday evening as their FA Cup dream was ended by a Plymouth Argyle that looked better drilled and overall, well, better.
The Pilgrims are a long way further on in their journey than Wednesday and it showed. They’re full of confidence and haven’t a shade of the injuries their visitors have had to navigate this season.
Wednesday started with Callum Paterson at centre-half. He finished up front. With Dennis Adeniran shoehorned in at wing-back, they looked battered and bruised.
It was Adeniran that hobbled off on the half-hour mark to define what Moore is battling at current.
Defeat books in at least one weekend off, with another placed on the horizon in January should Morecambe beat Buxton. Though they’d never admit it, they’re opportunities the Owls badly need.
The football? Wednesday had the better of the opening stages, overcoming a sloppy first few minutes on the ball to produce two handsome chances; first to Florian Kamberi and then to Jaden Brown, operating in his favoured left wing back position.
But on 20 minutes, the microcosm dropped. One Plymouth attack of note, one Plymouth goal courtesy of a well-struck Jordon Garrick effort. It’s the sort of incision Wednesday fans have seen only in fits and starts in recent weeks, months and indeed seasons.
That move started with Brown’s sloppy use of the ball, but it was the Tottenham youth product that looked brightest player on the pitch going forward for much of a surprisingly open first half.
Never as open was it, however, as when Ryan Hardie bumbled and fumbled his way through an open-mouthed Owls defence to slip it past Wildsmith and make it 2-0.
Half-time arrived with the now not-so-unfamiliar strain of blue and white boos, with senior players Chey Dunkley and Barry Bannan sharing a few choice words on their way off.
It wasn’t the disagreement on a fairly miserable evening. When Joe Wildsmith got himself into a tangle and allowed Garrick to bag his second and make it 3-0, the inquest rang out between a few players. Shoulders sank, spectators scarpered, Plymouth fans quipped that Wednesday were worse than San Marino. It didn’t flatter the home side.
The Owls are out of a competition they were never going to win and they’re a couple of points short of the play-off places. It may well be raining – to return to that old adage – but nobody is drowning. Yet.
Attention now turns to the recoveries of Johnson and Adeniran and which players Moore can fashion into a raft to get them through this injury crisis. The water is steadily rising.
Plymouth Argyle: Cooper; Wilson, Scarr, Gillesphey; Edwards, Pereira Camará, Houghton (Randell, 83’), Broom (Mayor, 76'), Grant; Garrick (Agard, 71’), Hardie
Subs unused: Burton, Law, Cooper, Pursall, Shirley, Jenkins-Davies
Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith; Paterson, Dunkley, Palmer; Adeniran (Sow, 28’), Wing, Bannan (Luongo, 75’), Dele-Bashiru, Brown; Kamberi (Shodipo, 75’), Berahino (Corbeanu, 59’)
Subs unused: Peacock-Farrell, Byers