Sheffield Wednesday’s season may depend on whether they can shed their tag of slow starters.
Carlos Carvalhal’s charges have managed just one goal in the first 15 minutes of their 21 Championship fixtures this campaign.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Owls have also failed to get their noses in front over the last month, falling behind in six out of their last seven tussles.
Carvalhal expressed his disappointment over Wednesday’s first half performance in their midweek defeat to MK Dons, claiming they were a “shadow” of themselves. While th was pleased with the team’s improved showing after the break, the Owls gave themselves too much to do and slipped to a fourth defeat on the road.
So how do the Owls make the transition from reactive to proactive?
Carvalhal said: “We don’t to keep giving ourselves so much to do in the second half of games. We want it to be completely different.
“Sometimes we have started well but we have played better in most of the games in the second half. It is something that we must work on and try to correct.”
For Wednesday to get back on track, the head coach is demanding they learn from the errors they made at stadium:mk.
“We made some tactical mistakes in the first half,” he said. “We didn’t press collectively so we must correct that. It is something we will correct very easily.
“There are some things you can’t control. Usually we don’t miss to many passes but we missed a lot in the first half. Our midfielders are very good with the ball so it was strange to see them giving the ball away.
“The midfielders were absolutely fantastic in the second half. They ran and fought hard and controlled a lot of the game.”
Midfielder Alex Lopez’s injury hampered Carvalhal’s ability to freshen things up from the bench. The Spaniard was forced off after hurting his quad.
“We are here to solve problems but it is more difficult to move some tactical things during a game when you have injuries,” conceded Carvalhal.