Undoubtedly, the January transfer window has been a success for Sheffield Wednesday.
I am aware that the Wednesday faithful are more than happy with the constructive signings made in the window as progression continues both on and off the field of play. You could say the best business was done early signing the likes of Gary Hooper and Jack Hunt on permanent deals.
Hooper has now bagged seven goals in 14 games and is expected to play a huge part in Wednesday’s aim to reach the top-flight. Once again; Chansiri has put his money where is mouth is during the transfer window, not only has he acquired astute experience players but extended contracts to many key players within the squad. Dejphon still means business.
Although a good cup run is always more than welcome, being dumped out of the FA Cup by Shrewsbury was more than disappointing. On a positive note, some cup runs only have a detrimental effect on a clubs league outcome. Fair to say, Sheffield Wednesday have already had a good run in the Capital One Cup, surpassing Arsenal along the way.
Focus and priority is now all on the league. Carvalhal can now put all of his eggs in one basket. Less than four months remain in the Sky Bet Championship, forget Shrewsbury and the FA Cup, let’s have our own 17 cup finals and get ourselves in those play-offs.
Still sat in and around the sixth spot, I only expect Sheffield Wednesday to continue their good run of league form and aim for a very respectable top four finish by the end of the season. If come May, this expected top four finish becomes reality, the Owls will have certainly over achieved this season.
Many fans asked me back in September my end of season prediction, to which I admittedly thought eighth to tenth was a respectable finish upon which the Owls could build on the following year. However; September 2014 seems like an age ago, with quality acquisitions such as Bannan, Forestieri, Hooper and now McGeady… Who knows where they can take us this season?
Accumulating 32 points at Hillsborough this campaign, Sheffield Wednesday currently have the third best home record this season behind Hull and Middlesbrough. In fact; the top six Championship teams have now made a league visit to S6, losing on one occasion. However, having only won three games on the road this season, here is where the problem lies. Improvement on the road needs addressing now. If addressed, in addition with continued impressive home form, a top four finish is very achievable.
The return of Keiran Westwood, Lewis McGugan, Marco Matias, Michael Turner and Tom Lees will without doubt only add further strength and depth to the Owls squad as they push for promotion. Lees especially will be a huge boost for Wednesday, he has been greatly missed at centre-back since limping off injured against Stoke back in December. Maintenance of fitness will play a huge part in the outcome of Sheffield Wednesday’s league position, let’s hope our fair share of injuries and bad luck is over.
With Hooper and Forestieri expected to keep firing on all cylinders and Lees nearing full fitness, our ‘best’ eleven needs to be playing week in week out from now until May. I’m sure Carvalhal is very aware that with a bit of luck along the way, a top 4 finish is certainly in reach. Could this be our year?