Sheffield Wednesday man must dust off hero's cape as Danny Röhl expresses importance
In many ways, Josh Windass' season has been a microcosm of that of his club's.
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Because the 29-year-old, 170 days on from writing his name into Sheffield Wednesday history books with a 123th-minute diving header that delivered them back into the Championship, has been excellent in moments.
The problem has been, as it has with Wednesday generally, that those patches of excellence have not been rewarded with goals. As with Wednesday generally, he's been unlucky at times and as with Wednesday generally it has felt at times that one moment going the right way will set him away onto a run of success in front of goal. For player and club, frustratingly, the fact is that it's yet to come.
Those moments of excellence - if that's not too strong a word - have been understated, stretching play, finding space, carrying the ball upfield, entering the box and moving play into intelligent areas. He's a savvy player and has the attributes you'd rather suspect Danny Röhl adores in a footballer - though so much of a forward's contribution is so often taken with a glance at the goal's column.
Windass has acknowledged himself via social media that he's missed chances he'd usually take. He's not the only one. The hope is that the tide will turn. From the Owls' point of view, it has to. Because at his best, he's a player that makes things happen in the final third.
There's no doubt Windass has been missed when out injured, first in the final throes of Xisco's mini-reign and more recently in the defeat at Bristol City. He played the second 45 minutes of Saturday's defeat to Millwall and provided another understated performance, dovetailing nicely with those on the left. Two shots blocked - one a little handball-ish - his wait for a goal goes on.
Speaking after the weekend's defeat, Röhl went as far as to describe the former Rangers man as a potential 'game-changer' in the Owls' difficult campaign: "When we look at the whole picture, he started back training on Thursday. He missed a training session during the week but I think he can be the game-changer.
"He can create things and that is what we need to happen. That was the reason I put him on the bench and I'm very happy that he's now ready to go."
What's clear is that Röhl is a big fan and that Windass will undoubtedly play a vital role in what he wants to achieve at Sheffield Wednesday. How the Owls could do with him - and one or two others - dusting off their hero's capes and mounting a run to put them back within a punch of the safety spots.
"He's a great player," the German coach explained to The Star. "He has great movement between the lines. It's not easy to catch him and he has very good deep runs and crosses. These are all good things that we need for our game and it is very good for us to have Josh."