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Don't Panic Mr Mainwaring!

Okay, so the dust has settled on the thrashing dished out on us by Watford on Friday night and the vultures hovering over Brian Laws' position as Owls boss are in the distance, for the time being at least.

It didn't make for good viewing for Owls fans, a horror show some might say, and the anger from the blue and white side of Sheffield (and, I guess, the red and white side following their defeat to Cardiff) was there for all to see and hear over the weekend.

I must admit, I was one of them, and although I didn't call directly for Laws to go as a result, my confidence of his ability to take us that 'next step' drained somewhat.

Almost two days later, and I've calmed down, and I don't think it's time to panic just yet.

Laws got away with it at Derby.

Despite losing 3-0 to a poor Derby side, it was the Owls' only really bad performance of the season up until then, and the players got the majority of the criticism.

Victory against Coventry in the next match was welcome, and despite falling to defeat against Preston in midweek, the performance was there, and there was little to grumble about.

Friday's 4-1 set-back at Vicarage Road though seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back for some fans, who were in a rage at Laws following what was a shocking performance from his men.

It simply wasn't acceptable, the fans knew it, Laws knew it, and even our own chairman wasn't happy at the showing - thanks to his Facebook status for that one.

I called Laws into question, especially given his post-match quotes in the media that said the players hadn't listened to instructions given to them in the match.

That sounds, to me, that he could well have lost the dressing room, but I could also be looking too much into it.

He certainly hadn't lost the dressing room as the side performed well against Preston in midweek, nor the victory over Coventry.

But the one thing that keeps me on-side with the Wednesday gaffer is the fact that he's been through this with us before, and he's come out pretty well from it.

The disastrous start to the 2007-08 campaign which saw us sitting in the relegation spots only for Laws to help turn things around before the end of the season.

Of course, things aren't that bad this season, and we've seen that we definitely are capable of playing attractive, and more importantly, winning football.

We've shown that against Scunthorpe, we've shown it against Coventry, we've shown it against Cardiff, a side who we cruised by but they're now sitting second in the table.

We've also shown it in defeats against Preston North End and Sheffield United.

The quality is there, and although it's a quality that won't get us anywhere near the top six, it's a quality that will keep us in a safe mid-table position this season, whether fans like that or not.

People easily forget about the problems this club has endured in the last decade, we've been starved of success, and a safe mid-table position in the Championship shouldn't be frowned upon, far from it.

Expectations were probably set too high at the start of the season, and that's probably the problem of why we find ourselves where we are at the moment.

Promises of an increased wage budget (whether we have one or not is for another discussion) and hopes of a play-off push were included in our close season letter ahead of renewing season tickets, and those promises are looking a bit off the mark as I type.

But despite are current below-par position of 17th in the Championship, we all know how close this division is, this season more than ever, and we still only find ourselves three wins from a play-off spot, with other results going our way, of course.

Next up is a tough trip to Bristol City, a very tough trip, going there with City in a play-off position and going strong - somewhere where we'd have loved to have been at the start of the campaign.

It's always tough going to Ashton Gate, and it'll be no different next Saturday.

Next at Hillsborough are high-flying Queens Park Rangers.

They're two tough matches, and they're two matches which could well have a huge impact on our season, and Brian Laws' spell at the helm at S6.

It's too early to be calling for the sack, though, and it's time, more than ever before, to get behind the team, and we can get out of this rut together.




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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 25 2009

Time: 4:41PM

Your Comments

I applaud your conclusion if not agree with all you say in support of this. The excuses about lack of resources do not explain away poor use of what resources we have. Miller and Purse are my question marks. Potter has been questioned by others (I disagree). Buxton has come under huge flack this season (but I remember how good he was last year and can't help but think his partner on the right of defence, Purse isn't providing cover in the way Hinds or Wood did). Leon Clarke came under huge attack but has won many round after giving up the pies and taking up grafting. Jeffers we can't blame on BL as I believe that was the work of our former chairman (apols if I'm wrong, numpty if I'm right). Akpo on form is a joy but his fitness and injury record counts against us. Tudgay was a great purchase, so was Grant. EE and JJ also in the plus side but not without question marks as are O'Connor and Hinds. Other sides with small budgets have used them well. Have we? How much did Burnley splash? Wolves sent out there scouts with instructions to find good young talent at as little expense as possible. Why are we offering contracts to players well past their best who in some cases (Purse and Miller) are not as good as the players we already have at the club. I to want BL to succeed at Wednesday but as you put it, the next two games really will tell us where we are headed. C'mon Wednesday!
robc
Excellent summing up, Nick. Although Laws' changes in the next couple of games will have a big bearing on his future. Things are never dull at s6!
aball2112
id rather play badly and win than play super football and come away with nothing eg preston and the blunts id be well happy with mid table
bradford_owl
fair comment, but playing badly (unattractive) doesn't always result in success as our friends across town continually prove. so you end up with occasional uninspiring wins littered with the inevitable defeats that this division brings. when you look at what all the other sides are doing it appears that everyone is inconsistent and capable of beating or losing to anyone which is frustrating enough but to never even look exciting would be murder!
Hirsty's Shinpads
 

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