Sheffield Wednesday well-beaten in Spain as Xisco’s Owls try formational switch

Sheffield Wednesday were beaten 4-0 in the final game in Spain, with Segunda Liga outfit, CD Eldense, coming out on top in San Pedro del Pinatar.
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In the searing heat under the strong Murcian sun things got underway, and with only a few hundred fans there for company the Owls kicked things off against Spanish opponents for the last time on their preseason camp.

Once more Xisco threw a couple of youngsters into the mix alongside a whole host of senior pros, but instead of the 4-1-4-1 formation that he’d played previously he opted to go 4-2-3-1 with Tyreeq Bakinson and Will Vaulks operating in front of the back four.

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Wednesday didn’t have the best of starts, though, and within five minutes they found themselves behind. It was young winger, Arnau Ortiz, who got things rolling, the 21-year-old rifling past Cameron Dawson from outside the box, much to the delight of the fans in red at the Pinatar Arena.

Both sides had their spells of possession, but for the most part neither was able to carve out any real opportunities. That was, however, until the 35th minute when a well-worked move from Eldense saw Juanto Ortuno find space, and he crashed it home from close-range to double the Spaniards’ lead.

It was only getting hotter, and by the time the second half was underway the temperature gauge read 33°C but felt hotter. Akin Famewo was the only change for the Owls, replacing Adam Alimi-Adetoro, but their opponents went wholesale as they changed 10 and brought on six new signings.

Perspective is needed, of course, and things will take time under Xisco has he imparts a new style and fresh ideas at the club, but there really wasn’t much for the group of Wednesdayites who made the trip to shout about.

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Unsurprisingly given the heat there was no real intensity to the second half, and aside from a pretty tame save from Dawson there were no chances either . Xisco dipped into his bench around the 65-minute mark as Jay Glover, Rio Shipston and Michael Smith were introduced - Barry Bannan, Will Vaulks and Lee Gregory stepped off for a well-earned break.

Another drinks break followed not long afterwards, players wrapping cold towels around their heads to catch a break, and Xisco used the opportunity to get them together to offer instructions for the final 20 minutes or so. Wednesday still couldn’t find any rhythm though, and by the 79th minute it was 3-0 Joel Jorquera finding space in the box to bend it around Dawson and inside the far post.

Xisco rung the changes once more, bringing Marvin Johnson and Callum Paterson into the game to ease any concerns over their fitness, but before long it was four as Ivan Chapela broke through on goal and slotted it past birthday boy, Pierce Charles, shortly after he came on.

By this point it was done and dusted, the game put to bed, and for everyone it was a relief as the final whistle went. Wednesday’s Spanish trip officially ends tomorrow as they jet back to England. They need new players.

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SWFC XI: Cameron Dawson (Pierce Charles 79’), Dominic Iorfa, Michael Ihiekwe (Alimi Adetoro ‘85), Adam Alimi-Adetoro (Akin Famewo 45’), Reece James, Tyreeq Bakinson (Marvin Johnson 79’), Will Vaulks (Jay Glover 65’), Sean Fusire (Luke Cook 79’), Barry Bannan (Rio Shipston 65’), Josh Windass (Callum Paterson 79’), Lee Gregory (Michael Smith 65’).


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