Wednesday adrift of promotion chasers
The pressure continues to mount on Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal after a 2-0 defeat at Derby County on Saturday which leaves them in 16th place in the Championship table, 6 points adrift of a play-off place and the same number of points ahead of the bottom 3.
The Owls have not won at Derby for over a decade and the writing was on the wall as early as the 4th minute in this one. Returning captain Glenn Loovens was adjudged to have pulled down Matej Vydra in the penalty area and with the referee deciding that the defender had not made a genuine attempt to the play the ball a red card was shown. Vydra converted the resulting spot-kick leaving the Owls a man down and a goal down with almost all of the match still to play.
To their credit Wednesday dug in and produced a gritty display and were perhaps unlucky not to come away with a point considering the odds which were against them from the early blow. Derby manager Gary Rowett conceded that the Owls should have had a penalty of their own in the first half when Steven Fletcher was pushed from behind in an incident that appeared more clear-cut than the one given against Wednesday.
Ultimately though the Owls challenge ended in defeat when Bradley Johnson converted with a low drive late on to seal the points for the home side.
Decisions and lady luck appear to have deserted the Owls of late but after 4 defeats in 5 Carvalhal’s side need to start making their own luck and impose themselves upon the game early. Wednesday’s slow starts have seen them fall behind in the first half of the majority of their games so far this season and the importance of the first goal in Championship games is being underlined by the way these games are going.
Wednesday now have back to back home fixtures against Barnsley and Milllwall and anything less than 6 points would see the pressure increase further.