Sheffield Wednesday trio battling for huge opportunity at Swansea

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“Now there’s a new manager in charge, there are possibilities for everybody,” Jordan Rhodes told the media last week. “Now it’s over to us to be ready and to try and take them.”

The Owls are short up top, Tony Pulis admitted himself after the defeat at Preston on Saturday, and with Jack Marriott back at Derby and Josh Windass suspended for the next three matches the opportunities Rhodes speaks of have suddenly opened up.

Pulis’ first Wednesday side started with Windass playing as the only central striker with Callum Paterson, Adam Reach and stand-in winger Moses Odubajo set up to counter in support. After his red card, of course, those plans were cast to the wayside.

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Let’s take a look at the candidates to step in for Windass as Wednesday look to get their goal threat going.

Elias Kachunga is one Sheffield Wednesday player who could benefit from Josh Windass' suspension. Pic Steve Ellis.Elias Kachunga is one Sheffield Wednesday player who could benefit from Josh Windass' suspension. Pic Steve Ellis.
Elias Kachunga is one Sheffield Wednesday player who could benefit from Josh Windass' suspension. Pic Steve Ellis.

Elias Kachunga

In terms of playing style, the closest thing to a replacement for Windass would possibly be Kachunga, who offers a lot of energy and pressing in the final third. Given Swansea’s desire to play out from the back, Pulis may well see that to be an important attribute.

The question might be whether Kachunga is trusted to hold the ball up adequately. The last thing the Owls want is an isolated man up top and the ball coming back at them for 90 minutes.

The former Huddersfield man is hungry for a chance having impressed as part of a front three in Monk’s last two outings.

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“Competition is always good,” he said. “Everyone has to show the manager that we belong in the starting line-up.

“We have to keep fighting and competition is good in the team. Nobody can go out there and take it easy, we all know that somebody can come in and take your place.

“There is really good competition in the team.”

Jordan Rhodes

Last week Rhodes told The Star that he was keen to earn himself a new contract at the club, with his current deal expiring in the summer.

He’s described his time at Wednesday as some of the darkest in his career but once again described his determination to put things right at the club he arrived at as a club-record signing in 2017.

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“We’ve got players in the team that are really good crosses of the ball,” he said. “If that’s what the manager demands, to put the ball in the box, then it’s up to me and the other strikers to try and get on the end of them and create chances and shots on targets. The onus then comes on us as strikers.”

Callum Paterson

A curious one. Signed as a target man by Garry Monk, one of Pulis’ opening gambits was to suggest he disagreed with Paterson’s profile, saying that he didn’t feel he was a striker.

Windass’ dismissal on Saturday saw Paterson pushed forward into a one-man attack from midfield and of all the available forwards he certainly has the most obvious attributes to hold the ball up.

That said, he has looked isolated at times when playing as a striker. Pulis may well see him as a player who can offer midfield muscle and get forward to support the man up top.



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