PREVIEW | Hull City -v- Wednesday

PREVIEW | Hull City -v- Wednesday

The flickering embers of a positive end to this season have been quickly extinguished.

Alexsandar Mitrovic saw to that, stamping the flames with his big size twelve right foot.

Aspects of the performance against Fulham were admirable, but nothing more.

The Cottagers’ first half threat should have manifested itself with at least a one goal advantage, however the growing resilience of the Wednesday defence and the encouragement of the home support gave hope that a positive result might be possible.

It wasn’t to be, though, and Fulham deservedly took the three points: their star quality and youthful exuberance combining to great effect to turn a blue defence inside-out.

One goal was enough.

A trip to QPR might carry a better result, many thought. Two mid-table sides, both on decent runs, an away side with its better players returning.

Chuffing hell.

The first half an hour was so bad it had Wednesday fans muttering forbidden words… Orient, Exeter, Stevenage…

For a time it looked like this would be our worst midweek defeat since the Hertfordshire trip back in 2011.

The switch to a back four was partly to blame, as wave upon wave of Rangers attack crashed upon the Wednesday defence. Runners were left alone, a chasm of space down either flank and in front of the back four invited pressure.

Individual errors were plentiful. Structure and leadership were absent.

Rangers made it 4-0 before two quick Wednesday retorts briefly made a comeback even more unlikely than Roma’s of the same evening look possible.

The whole sorry affair had us longing for season’s end sooner rather than later.

A number of players are evidently ready for a break. Joe Wildsmith has had a good season and deserves a rest, before a pre-season addressing issues in his game that, should they be fixed, will make him Wednesday’s number one.

Adam Reach is running on fumes. On countless occasions during the past two seasons I’ve questioned how deep his fuel tank goes, and now we’re finally getting the answer. When safety is mathematically confirmed, take him out the side.

Two players who a ready for the curtain to fall next month (Image: The Star)

Bannan, Lees, Forestieri, Hunt: first team players who have suffered injuries of varying length, need the summer to recuperate ahead of next term (should they remain here).

Two players who will want this season to carry on are Lucas Joao and Atdhe Nuhiu. One could argue our near-safety in this division is thanks to their contribution since Jos Luhukay took over as manager.

Atdhe Nuhiu is the subject in the biggest change of public opinion in Sheffield since our city natives realised that the Arctic Monkeys are no longer our High Green boys, but are on the slide to coke-fuelled, LA-inspired laughing stock.

Of course, everyone will tell you that they’ve always believed in Nuhiu and that the death threats (yes, really) and general approach of a large portion of fans – calling him ‘Dave’ long after his publicly expressed wish to the contrary – is nothing more than light-hearted banter.

Nuhiu: a reason to be cheerful

To those few who have consistently supported Nuhiu, whether you believe he is more akin to Batistuta or the second coming of Barry Corr: congratulations, bask in the comforting warmth of knowing you were right.

His strike partner, Lucas Joao, has shown in flashes why he is a capped Portuguese international. He has also shown why he has struggled to hold down a first team place over his three year spell.

With twenty goals between them, the new partnership is responsible for a third of our goals over the course of the season, having predominantly featured after Christmas.

Let’s hope their little run can continue at Hull.



LAST 5 QPR (A) Fulham (H) Sunderland (A) Preston (H) Leeds (A)
WEDNESDAY L 2-4 L 0-1 W 3-1 W 4-1 W 2-1


LAST 5  Burton (A) QPR (H) Wolves (A) Villa (H) Brum (A)
HULL W 5-0 (luck?) W 4-0 (oh) D 2-2 (oh no) D 0-0 L 0-3


City’s recent form has been remarkable, in fairness. Sticking five past all-but-relegated Burton is still an eye opening result away from home. Hull have a propensity to entertain: only three sides have scored more – Wolves, Villa, Fulham.

Consecutive draws against two of those sides represent successes, they came before a rousing home win against Ian Holloway’s QPR.

Wednesday will have to be at their organised best or, at the very least, in much better shape than on Tuesday night, in order to preserve the ’12’ in the upcoming middle column:


  20 12 19





Barry Bannan hinted on Twitter this week that he should be available for selection after a positive scan this week.

Freddy Venancio disappeared without trace following the Fulham defeat and nobody seems to know why or where to.

Fernando Forestieri made a scoring return to the starting line-up but generally looked well off the pace: to be expected, of course.

Glenn Loovens seems to have been blacklisted and looks set to leave the club in the summer after five very successful years.

Tom Lees will continue alongside Daniel Pudil (and Venancio if fit/found).












VERDICT – Kudos to anyone travelling to Hull for this.

The Motivation Meter has rested squarely on zero for a while now. The warning light is flashing to no avail.

Hull have spanked two sides for nine goals in their past two games. Wednesday suddenly look spent of energy and confidence after their little three match winning run came to a shuddering halt.

However, the thought of Barry Bannan, Fernando Forestieri and Adam Reach all starting – despite being half fit – and supplying a confident and expressive front pairing of Nuhiu and Joao: now that is something to get behind.

Let’s confirm our place in next season’s Championship in style.

If style is absent, a 0-0 will do.

Owls Alive
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images: SWFC, unless stated. Line up images: Getty.

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