Q&A With Sheffield Wednesday

  • September 15, 2015 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/77bb4

Eddie Hoyland, of The Wednesday Week, answers our questions ahead of the 117th meeting between Bolton and Sheffield Wednesday.

Bolton go into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, while the Owls were beaten 3-1 at Burnley on the same afternoon.

In our latest edition of Q&A, Eddie (@sausagearms / @TWWcast) shares his views on expectations under the unknown quantity of Carlos Carvalhal, Barry Bannan's arrival at Hillsborough, as well as why he expects Wanderers to secure a top-half finish this season.

Q: Carlos Carvalhal took over from former Bolton player Stuart Gray in the summer, but has guided the club to just five points from their opening six games. How much do you know about the new man in charge and what are the targets for this season?

A: Carlos' appointment came from far out of left field and the initial response from the fanbase was tepid at best.

Despite his close connection to Jose Mourinho, his record of 14 clubs in 15 seasons hardly inspired confidence. However, from his initial press conference, he won over many fans with his passion and clear tactical knowledge of the game. As Head Coach in a three-legged committee system, which also takes in Director Of Football Glenn Roeder and our Chief Executive Paul Aldridge, he is not a manager in the traditional sense, but clearly has been hired to play a role in a system.

With a massively-overhauled squad, his remit is to create a successful footballing side - the first stage of that is to achieve squad cohesion, which is - obviously from the results so far - a work in progress.

Our stated aim at the start of the season was to improve to the point where we are challenging for the top six by May. With a stuttering start that looks a big ask, but there are real positive signs that once the squad become familiar with each other, we have an abundance of talent with which to play. I'd suggest that this is the best time of the season to play us!

Q: Marco Matias joined from Nacional in July and leads the Owls' early goalscoring charts. Is he the man to look out for, or is there a bigger threat to Bolton's chances of picking up a result?

A: Marco came to Hillsborough with a reputation of scoring a handsome number of goals for a wide player. He's expected to chip in with 10-15 goals, but, as in any team, the bulk of expectation goes on the strikers.

Recent signing Fernando Forestieri, while more of a deep-lying attacker than an out-and-out striker, will need to contribute as least as many as Matias, and, of course, the central striker role in our system is the focal point.

Currently that is the mercurial Atdhe Nuhiu, the man-mountain who has never quite caught fire for us in his two seasons at Wednesday so far, but who, on his day, can cause any defence problems. He's had a fire lit under him by the prospect of a 'big name' coming in to replace him and has a point to prove.

Q: Barry Bannan, who spent the second half of last season on loan with Wanderers, recently signed for Wednesday and made his debut in the weekend defeat at Burnley. What is the early opinion on the former Crystal Palace midfielder?

A: While it's too early to tell what contribution Bannan will make for the Owls, his signing was greeted as a statement of intent for a team looking to add quality throughout the side.

We suffered throughout last season by not having a general who could anchor the midfield and really allow more attacking-minded players the freedom to support the forwards, so the signing makes complete sense.

It will be interesting to see which combination of a very talented midfield contingent Carlos Carvalhal settles on as the season develops.

Q: It's been a mixed start for Bolton - with one of the best defences in the league, but the joint-worst attack. As Neil Lennon embarks on his first full campaign in charge, how far do you think he can take us this season?

A: Bolton remind me very much of Stuart Gray's Wednesday last season - able to shut even the most potent attacking teams down, but not set up in a way that allowed us to go and win games.

That necessarily limits the ceiling of what a team can achieve, but, with a following wind, I see Wanderers as potentially an 8th-12th place side.

Your result against Wolves at the weekend will do you the world of good, but I suspect you might be in for a frustrating season where those goals don't come often enough and you see lots of 0-0 and 1-1 results where you come away knowing you were the better team by far.

Q: Despite the lack of goals on our part, which player(s) do you think Wednesday will be looking out for?

A: Well the law of the ex-player dictates that Owls castoff Gary Madine will score a hat-trick against us, and I've yet to see a team that the mighty Emile Heskey doesn't strike fear into.

But we usually have the knack of making flashy foreigners look like world-beaters, so I'll be keeping an eye on Wellington Silva, who I expect will play like 'Fat' Ronaldo circa 1998.

Q: Finally, what is your score prediction for Tuesday's game?

A: Despite my fears above, I have no doubt that in Tom Lees and Glenn Loovens we have the quality to keep Heskey and Madine off the scoresheet.

So it comes down to whether we can put together periods of dominance like we had against Burnley at the weekend. If so, then I think we can come away handsome winners with a 2-0 scoreline.

However, that's a big if given the determination and quality in your defence. This one's got 1-0 either way written all over it.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Eddie for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from him on Twitter - @sausagearms & @TWWcast.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
2 Peterborough United 4 9
3 Portsmouth 4 8
4 Bolton Wanderers 4 8
5 Exeter City 4 7
6 Charlton Athletic 4 7
View Full Standings >>


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