Sheffield Wednesday are improving as they look to chase down Sunderland, Wigan Athletic and others

There was a moment during Sheffield Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Cambridge United on Tuesday evening that summed up the terrace mood at current.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 3:55 pm

As the rain fell and between hugely original chants from the home end questioning the notability of the Owls name a great number of the 2,440 Wednesday fans present joined in the sort of ‘gallows humour’ riposte usually reserved for a side much lower then ninth in the table.

“We’ve had a shot,” they sang to chuckling applause from their Cambridge counterparts. And they had. Lee Gregory had hammered one at Cambridge keeper Dimitar Mitov, one of 20 shots they took on an evening heavily weighted by a miserable, howling down-field gale.

It was one of several season-high statistics produced, including their xG output, a statistic that measures the quality of the chances created across the course of a game.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

At the Abbey Stadium they earned an xG rating of 2.71 to the Us’ 1.09. It was a figure way up on their season average of 1.41 and followed their previous season-best at AFC Wimbledon (2.44) over the weekend.

Add all this to the win they claimed over Bolton and the switch to 3-5-2 seems to be working in parts at least.

Interestingly, some 1.33 – almost 50% – of that xG came in the final 20 minutes of a match and a reshuffle that saw Darren Moore switch to four at the back and push an extra body up front.

Though the only number that truly matters from their last two matches are the two league points they’ve taken, they’re certainly interesting statistics that belied the knee-jerk reaction of many supporters and, yes, reporters in the ground.

Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan shakes hands after their 1-1 draw with Cambridge United.

Read More

Read More
'It's been coming' - Sheffield Wednesday youngster Fisayo Dele-Bashiru on first ...

Where much of the criticism has been levelled at Wednesday since their early-season rise to the top of the table is in attacking positions.

These numbers suggest things are on the move on that front and that if they can start converting their chances, results should improve, particularly given the margins of difference in recent weeks.

Their current run sits them in a position of two wins in nine – or one defeat in seven depending on how you look at it. It is the results in the coming weeks that will determine how it will be viewed in the long-run.