Subs, slip-ups and the skipper - talking points from Sheffield Wednesday's 3-1 defeat to Derby County
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So what are the talking points on the lips of Wednesdayites up and down the land? Let’s take a look at a handful..
The Wednesday skipper, outstanding in midweek, had a day to forget quickly and was hauled off at half-time.
Lees dawdled on the ball for too long for Derby’s second goal and was dispossessed by Chris Martin, but it was his response that was most alarming according to Owls boss Garry Monk, who made it clear he expected a more robust response to the mistake from a club captain.
He was replaced by Dominic Iorfa, whose performance was one of the few positives on the night, and Lees may well find himself watching on in games to come.
Like a cartoon character that cannot stop stepping on the garden rakes, Wednesday manage to hit themselves in the face time and time again.
Lees’ error was the most brazen on an afternoon littered with sloppy passing, poor decision making and accommodating defence and the Owls look a side a million miles away from the one that had the third-best defensive record in the league in the early days of Monk’s reign.
It was too little, too late of course, but each of Garry Monk’s substitutes made an impact. Josh Windass scored Wednesday’s consolation goal and was busy throughout his 45 minutes, Connor Wickham produced his best performance of this spell at Hillsborough and with Dominic Iorfa in defence the Owls shut Derby out.
Perhaps this shines a spotlight on Monk’s selection as much as it does anything. At the end of a three-game week, perhaps fresh legs were needed?
Garry Monk praised Wednesday fans for their patience and support in not booing the side after their 3-0 defeat to Reading a fortnight ago.
And while the boos were only interrupted by strains of ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ at half-time this time out, any full-time protests were strangled at best, more out of apathy than acceptance, you suspect.
The attendance was up on Wednesday’s win over Charlton but large gaps in the crowd remain and swelled as early as the half-hour mark as Derby scored their third.
A video displayed on social media shows hundreds pouring out of Hillsborough. It’s a cycle that is difficult to turn around.