Irvine Drives Fans Out Of Hillsborough
Alan Irvine's 'conservative' tactics and baffling team selections are starting to drive the fans away from Hillsborough.
The Owls boss has been up for some stick throughout this season from Wednesdayites thanks to lacklustre performances and defensive tactics.
And just as the club are desperate for as many fans as possible to come through the Hillsborough turnstiles to help with the much-publicised financial difficulties, the fans have had enough.
The 20,000-plus attendance at last night's Yorkshire derby clash against Huddersfield Town highlighted the fans lack of belief in their team and lack of 'value for money' from the football that's being played.
In a game that could, and should have been nearer to 30,000, against the Owls nearest rivals this season, only 20,000 walked through the turnstiles - helped by a following of at least 4,000 from Huddersfield.
Take away that away support and replace it with any other from League One and we'd have been looking at 16,000 max to watch a side that could have moved up to second in the table.
The harsh weather conditions didn't help matters, but that's no excuse for the lack of numbers.
The clash with the Terriers, which resulted in a 2-0 defeat, was just the biggest example of the fans' sapping interest in the club they love.
Even when Wednesday were winning earlier in the season the crowds were disappointingly low - crowds against Brighton and Carlisle United being two prime examples.
Of course, I'd take boring 1-0 victories every week if it meant a swift return back to the Championship - but that's not going to happen.
It came to the point last night when fans, regulars that I see every week at Hillsborough, were walking out after half-an-hour to go to the pub.
These regulars will soon be leaving Wednesday for good until the football and results change for the better, and it's a sad state to be in at the time that the fans are needed most.
I dread to think what the next league attendance at Hillsborough will be, but I'm guessing this season will see some of the lowest gates of the modern era.
Let's get one thing straight, the matters off the pitch are much more important to the club at present than those on-the-pitch, but that doesn't wholly excuse Irvine and the squad for the pathetic performances that we've had to put up with thus far this season.
Irvine has already failed in keeping Wednesday in the Championship, now he's on the verge of repeating his failings and missing out on the pre-season target - instant promotion.
I hope Alan proves me wrong.