Sheffield Wednesday: Zayatte set to stand alone

Kamil Zayatte scores an own goal in the 2-2 draw with Millwall
Kamil Zayatte scores an own goal in the 2-2 draw with Millwall
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By this Saturday evening, Kamil Zayatte is likely to be the only Wednesday defender to have played in every game this season.

It is an unwelcome fact when Dave Jones, in common with other managers, sees a settled back four as an important element in a successful side.

While the Owls’ need for an extra striker and a midfield player has been much discussed among fans and acknowledged by the manager, injuries and exploration of the loan market cast a spotlight on another reason why the club have made an undistinguished start to the season. Their defensive record is the joint fourth worst in the division, with eight goals conceded. That is not just down to the back four, as forwards and defenders have defensive duties when the opposition have possession.

But Jones has not yet had his first-choice defence together for 90 minutes. The closest he came was in the home 2-2 draw with Millwall, when Buxton played just for the first half.

Full backs Reda Johnson and Lewis Buxton both missed the start of the season, and the team have had three different left backs - Joe Mattock, Rafa Floro and Johnson - and three different right backs - Buxton, Liam Palmer and Jordan Spence.

Liam Palmer has has started every game, but he is really a midfield player and his last three starts have been in midfield. Anthony Gardner, now injured, was the pick of the defenders, so the Owls could ill afford to lose him.

Zayatte, impressive enough to have earned a two-year contract after his summer trial, has had a mixed time in the league games.

While Jones has not given any indication that the former Hull defender could lose his place, the manager showed last season when he dropped Martin Taylor that he will leave out a recent signing if he thinks it necessary.

So Zayatte cannot regard himself as an automatic choice.