Sheffield Wednesday show clear signs of improvement despite final friendly loss
Owls defeated but not downhearted at Donny Sheffield Wednesday completed their pre-season schedule of matches on Saturday afternoon at the Keepmoat stadium, going down to a 1-0 defeat against Doncaster Rovers. A solo run and strike from James Coppinger eight minutes before half-time provided the only goal of the game but in contrast to the recent performances against Barnsley and especially at Scunthorpe, the Owls played a much more encouraging brand of football and there appeared to be a greater level of cohesion about this display. Although the Owls again failed to find the back of the net – the third successive game in which they have not done so – they created far more opportunities this time around and will be confident of getting results against League One opposition if they can manage to work on a few aspects ahead of next weekends’ big kick-off. Alan Irvine made eight changes to the side that started the previous friendly at Barnsley in and it appears he will keep fans guessing as to what will be the starting line up when the Owls take to the field against Dagenham and Redbridge at Hillsborough on August 7th. Midfielder Giles Coke played his first full 90 minutes for the club and after an encouraging display must be in contention for one of the central starting positions. Young Liam Palmer came on as a substitute and again showed his ability. Despite his age and lack of experience Palmer has been one of Wednesday’s best and most consistent performers throughout pre-season and along with Coke will be putting pressure on both Darren Potter and James O’Connor for a starting berth as both have looked out of sorts on occasions during the summer. Tommy Miller is also an option but worryingly the former Ipswich man, who has been blighted by injury since signing at S6 last summer, was not included in Saturday’s squad. Up front, the Owls most high-profile acquisition of the summer, Clinton Morrison got 30 minutes under his belt and looked lively. Given that the team have been far from prolific in front of goal in their warm up matches, Morrison, Tudgay, Mellor and Heffernan may all feel that they have a chance of starting on Saturday if they can impress during the week. Marcus Tudgay was forced off during the first half at Doncaster following a clash of heads but hopefully this won’t prove to be a problem that will keep him sidelined.
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