Owls improvement must accelerate as domestic football returns

Last updated : 31 March 2021 By C. Morris

Positive signs under Moore need to be turned into points

Sheffield Wednesday return to Championship action on Good Friday with a tough trip to promotion chasing Watford. With just 9 league matches remaining the Owls are still 8 points adrift of safety and although they have a game in hand on 21st-place Birmingham City Rotherham United in 22nd have a 3-points advantage and have 3 games in hand over Wednesday.

The international break has given all teams in the division a rare chance to assess and spend a couple of weeks in training without a match and this may be of more benefit to Wednesday as new manager Darren Moore and his coaching staff will have been able to get more of their fresh ideas and tactical approaches across to the squad.

Moore has had 5 games in charge of the Owls so far and there have been some positive signs. Despite losing his first 3 games as Wednesday boss, there were indications in those games that the overall performances were improving. Narrow defeats against Rotherham and Reading were more as a result of individual errors rather than poor all round displays and against runaway league leaders Norwich they just seemed to run out of steam having contained and counter-attacked their in-form opponents well initially.

4 points from the last 2 games against Huddersfield and Barnsley show a return for the improved performances with the win at Oakwell impressive against the backdrop of the Tykes fine recent form.

If there is to be any chance of a great escape from the relegation trapdoor to League One then the points return has to continue. Watford away seems like a daunting task on paper, as does the following game against Cardiff, who have been resurgent since Mick McCarthy took the position of manager earlier this year. Wednesday though can take confidence from positive results against other promotion contenders, like the recent win against Barnsley, home and away wins over Bournemouth and points gained against Reading and Swansea.

As things stand, Wednesday’s fate is out of their own hands due to the points they need to make up but they must at least give it their all and play with the belief that it isn’t over until it is mathematically impossible, with 27 points still to play for stranger things have happened in football.