RAMBLE: Wednesday -v- Leicester City

RAMBLE: Wednesday -v- Leicester City

Well where do you start with a week like this?

We lose to Blackpool, 24 hours later DJ is sacked then the Colin rumours start and the supporters’ infighting over the yes we should, no we shouldn’t debate rages on.

It was nice to have a break from all the rumour, counter-rumour and downright idiocy of who might or might not be on the list – over 50 applicants according to MM, which shows we still have a club managers want to come to.

Leicester came to Hillsborough on a high.

Seven wins and two defeats in their last nine games saw them flying high at the top of the Championship.

Without being obvious this was a classic top versus bottom clash with the two clubs experiencing very different fortunes both on and off the pitch.

Night matches at Hillsborough are always very special.

Wwalking down Herries Road and seeing the magnificent Old Lady sat in the dark with the floodlights lit really gets the juices flowing even if, when arriving at the ground, we have little expectation other than not wanting it to be as bad as it has been.

Hillsborough can be a special place under the floodlights – sometimes!

Hillsborough can be a special place under the floodlights – sometimes!

The supporters just want the team to look like they are putting a shift in.

Working hard, working for each other and showing some real passion for wearing the blue and white.

Obviously the big discussion was about the manager – the fact Colin’s name was in the frame and the fact that a certain Lee Bullen was helping Stuart Gray.

It was nice to see a good away following with Leicester bringing over 2,000 fans with them.

I’m never sure about the size of night match crowds but to get over 20,000 on a Tuesday night with our run of form was a good effort all round.

Stuart Gray made a number of surprising changes.

Former Celtic man Glenn Loovens made his Wednesday debut

Former Celtic man Glenn Loovens made his Wednesday debut

Kirkland continued on the bench meaning a third successive start for Spanish youngster Damian Martinez, while Dutch centre half Glenn Loovens started after completing his signing.

Kieran Lee and Liam Palmer lined up on the right with Jacques Maghoma and Joe Mattock on the left, giving us the potential for a balanced side both in attack and defence.

There was no Michail Antonio or Jeremy Helan in the squad which created even more discussion amongst home fans.

THE MATCH

Leicester started brightly and within three minutes the inevitable happened.

Mattock lost his man and Anthony KnockFart (and I mean that most sincerely folks) dazzled his way into the box and scored with a magnificent finish. There was nothing Martinez could do to stop it.

In previous games this would have been the trigger for the crowd to get on the players back.

Not this time though and the Wednesday fans roared on the blue and white wizards, giving them incredible support and backing and they responded in great style.

Leicester are a good, fast passing side and were trying to play diagonal balls, getting wingers in behind, but the Owls managed to get a grip of this quickly and started to fight fire with fire.

There was effort right across the pitch. Closing down quickly, working together – all appreciated by the crowd who could see a real difference from previous weeks.

It was as if Stuart Gray has said to them, “Look, you’ve got nothing to lose – these are top of the league, everyone expects you to lose the game, go out and play football. Be expressive and show what you really can do.”

And it was as if a weight had been lifted.

The passing was better than it had been, the partnerships on the field looked to be working.

Strikers hunting in pairs, wingers and full backs working together to deal with a very good Leicester attacking line up.

Wickham's stunning strike meant Wednesday were only behind for six minutes

Wickham’s stunning strike meant Wednesday were only behind for six minutes

After nine minutes this paid off.

Connor Wickham collected the ball just inside the box and with a traction engine of a shot levelled for the Owls.

The crowd were stunned, both home and away fans alike. We had started to show signs of playing as a team and it was now paying off.

The Owls started to really compete, getting stuck in and causing as many problems as Leicester were causing.

Atdhe Nuhiu worked his socks off and ran himself to a standstill. Maghoma got more and more into the game.

Again the hard worked paid off.  A clever ball out to Wickham found him in the same position as his first goal and you could argue it was a probing cross but who cares?

It crept in off the far post and WE WERE IN FRONT!

The ground went up as one and found their voice big style.

Though at times not convincing, the defence held tight with Martinez backing them up and Mattock taking a booking for the team after clattering KnockFart.

The Leicester winger performed the most hilarious flipping and flopping around injury dance I have seen in a long time and then miraculously jumped up like nothing was wrong.

For the first time in a few matches it was a standing ovation as the half time whistle blew.

Could we keep it up?

SECOND HALF

The second half started much as the first with Leicester coming out fast, playing quick balls into channels.

Lloyd Dyer was causing more than the occasional problem but as the game went on the Owls continued to grow in confidence.

Even allowing for our new found confidence Leicester still troubled us, as you’d expect from a table topping side.

Martinez kept Wednesday ahead with some stunning saves

Martinez kept Wednesday ahead with some stunning saves

We needed Martinez in great form, which he was, pulling off one fantastic world class save.

A change of formation saw The Owls go 4-5-1, bringing on Jose Semedo for the magnificent Giles Coke and JJ for Nuhiu.

We weren’t done with yet though and Wednesday continued to work hard with Maghoma working brilliantly with Mattock, and pulling off two fantastic tackles to break up dangerous attacks, and Wickham hitting a stormer of a shot that Schmeichel just managed to tip over.

With the referee indicating five minutes of injury time the pressure was on and the crowd were tense but the resolve of the team held up brilliantly and in the end the win was well deserved.

There has to be a few special mentions.

First the crowd…outstanding!

Positive even when things didn’t happen immediately and found their voice brilliantly.

Stuart Gray for being brave and making changes to help the team…

And finally the players…

Working hard, showing commitment and passion and at times some good football.

Why it didn’t happen under DJ we may never know but they showed last night this team has potential and some talent and CAN compete with the best in the Championship.

A final thought.

Who ever the new manager is (even Colin) we need to get behind him.

We are Wednesday – one of the best supported teams in the league – and we need to be right behind the team and new manager because WAWAW.

OWLS ALIVE circliar blue-4 (Midsize)

Peggy
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: admin@owlsalive.com
TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @cluelesspegg


One Comment

  1. Is Stuart Gray’s name in the hat ? I’d say go with him.

    Excellent bit of journalism Peggy. I thoroghly enjoyed it!

    Woody/pachyderm

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