Sheffield Wednesday clinched a battling 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic today.
Steven Fletcher’s glorious 62nd minute strike helped the Owls claim their first Championship victory of 2019.
Owls writer Dom Howson picks out five talking points from the Hillsborough clash.
The big striker was sharp and a thorn in Wigan's side throughout. He won virtually everything in the air and held the ball up well. Centre-backs Chey Dunkley and Cedric Kipre struggled all afternoon to contain Fletcher. Fletcher was a real focal point and the Scotland international deservedly got on the scoresheet just after the hour mark, curling an exquisite 25-yard shot past Jamie Jones.
ANOTHER CLEAN SHEET
Since Jos Luhukay's departure, Wednesday have recorded five clean sheets in eight matches. Continuity in selection has helped, with Lee Bullen and now Steve Agnew naming the same back four in all the league fixtures. The return of Keiren Westwood in goal has also brought a calming influence to the side. The Owls looked well-organised against Wigan, who only forced Westwood into one save.
It was a big boost for Wednesday to have Joao back following a month on the sidelines with a hip injury. Agnew eased him back into action, bringing him on IN the final half an hour. He made a big impact, causing Wigan's defence a few problems with his pace, power and trickery. It reminded everybody of what Joao has to offer. The Owls have certainly missed his speed and dynamism in the final third.
After Fletcher's goal, Wednesday were wasteful in front of goal. They should have scored more but George Boyd (2), Atdhe Nuhiu and Joao all spurned opportunities to add further gloss to the final scoreline. The Owls have not scored in a game since Rotherham at home on December 8 so there is still plenty of room for improvement in the attacking department. “It’s more of a problem if we’re not creating chances," said Agnew.
ROLL ON CHELSEA
After back-to-back clean sheets and victories, the Owls will head into the Chelsea tie full of confidence. Wednesday will be big underdogs against the Blues but they have over a week to prepare for the FA Cup fourth round duel and there is also a possibility talismanic forward Fernando Forestieri could be involved. Anything is possible in the cup.