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Owls Fans: Keeper, Please!

The latest poll on Vital Sheffield Wednesday asked fans which position should be strengthened when the January transfer window opens - and the results are in!

A whopping 45 per cent of Vital Sheffield Wednesday users highlighted the goalkeeper position as the area in most need of strengthening by boss Brian Laws should he receive some cash in January.

Former boss Paul Sturrock took a risk on waiting for Liverpool stopper Scott Carson to re-sign for the Owls on a loan deal - a risk that didn't pay off - and Wednesday had to rush to bring in Middlesbrough stopper Brad Jones on loan.

The Australian wasn't the most popular person to don the famous blue and white shirt but towards the end of his reign he helped the Owls picking up the winning streak they're currently enjoying thanks to Sean McAuley and Brian Laws.

And Laws acted quickly to bring in former Nottingham Forest team-mate Mark Crossley on loan from Fulham after Jones' deal at Hillsborough came to an end in November.

But with the deal only until January - Owls fans will be left wondering whether it will be another struggle to find a fourth goalkeeper for Wednesday to field this season or whether Laws can keep the services of Crossley until the end of the season.

The 37-year-old has been in fine form for Wednesday since his move back to Yorkshire and has even spoke of a return to International football with Wales - and his services until the end of the season at least would surely give the Owls faithful something to cheer - and the defence some continuity at the back.

Meanwhile, 35 per cent of Vital users felt that a striker was the most important priority in the January transfer window.

Forwards were certainly a problem for the Owls in the early stages of the season - in particular the trip to Plymouth Argyle saw just one fit striker make the journey south in Steve Maclean - who later got injured in the match to leave the Owls with right-winger Wade Small plying his trade in the Wednesday attack.

But is the situation such of a struggle now?

Marcus Tudgay is the form striker of the league having netted seven goals in nine games since his return to full fitness - and with Deon Burton doing most of the donkey work for him it seems like the partnership is a match made in heaven.

Do Wednesday need to continue to strengthen in the transfer window or will Tudgay, Burton, Steve Maclean and Drew Talbot surfice - for this season at least.

Ten per cent of fans voted for the midfield to be strengthened in January.

The midfield has been a problem area for many Owls teams in recent years but at long last it looks as though Paul Sturrock, and Brian Laws, have helped create a midfield that can pit itself against any other in te division.

Chris Brunt is finally coming of age after a shaky start to the season, while the addition of Wade Small on the right hand side has added some much needed pace to the Owls midfield attack. Both players have the ability to scare players in their own ways, and both are capable of winning matches.

There's also competition for places in the centre of the midfield with Kenny Lunt, Yoann Folly and Glenn Whelan all battling it out for the two spots in the centre of the park.

It seems that Laws is yet to make his mind up on his favoured two for the role - but it's certainly a nice pleasure to have - especially with Burton O'Brien and Steve Adams also in contention in the back-up places.

The final ten per cent think that the defence should be added to during the transfer window.

But again - Wednesday boss Laws has the pleasing selection headache in the heart of defence with captain Lee Bullen cementing a place back in the centre of defence following a superb run of form wich has seen him partner Madjid Bougherra at the back.

Bougherra has been known to make the mistake of two during the season but the Algerian international has the potential to be a superb defender for the Owls and has already helped out at the other end with important goals from set-pieces.

Frank Simek has carried on his fine form last season - and has improved at right back to make him one of the first names down on Brian Laws teamsheet, while youngster Tommy Spurr has also impressed after being thrown in at the deep end on more than one occassion.

So what for the January transfer window? Your guess is as good as mine, but it certainly looks as though the fans would look upon the addition of a goalkeeper and a striker favourably.

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 11 2006

Time: 11:53AM

Your Comments

Mark Crossley is the answer!
newman87
Surely Kevin pressman could still fill the goal?! :D
Tierney
Literally, Tierney :) Legend though.
Auckland Owl
Isn't Big Kev still in Ireland? I'll have to check up on how he's done over there! Hope he hasn't been lobbed by the opposition goalkeeper! I agree though, Crossley definately is the answer - for the short term at least.
nickswfc
 

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