The Steve Bruce era starts in earnest this weekend as Sheffield Wednesday head to relegation battlers Ipswich Town.
The Owls will be looking for a positive start, then, and so ahead of the game we spoke to Louis Shackshaft, as usual, to grab his thoughts from a Hillsborough perspective…
1. Are you pleased with how the January window has gone?
The January window was pretty much been non-existent for the Owls up to Deadline Day. We were linked with taking the odd player on loan and I’d heard similar reports regarding players leaving the club until the end of the season. A few arrived towards the end, though, and I’m fairly content with that.
2. A valiant effort last time out at Chelsea, what can the Owls take from the game?
It was a difficult game and Chelsea were worthy winners, plus, Willian was a different class. At times, Wednesday showed they can play some neat football but unfortunately opportunities were few and far between. I don’t think Wednesday should read into the game too much but the contest may have given Bruce and his backroom staff some food for thought.
3. This will mark Steve Bruce’s first game as manager but what have you thought about Agnew and Clemence’s work in his absence?
I don’t have any complaints in particular. We seem to have gone back to basics a little and brought back a few experienced players which has given the Owls a boost of confidence. We have managed to keep a handful of clean-sheets under Agnew and Clemence also, which is always a welcome trait to have in the side.
4. Ipswich are fighting for their lives. If the Owls match their commitment will they win this one?
They should do, having said that, I’m not always convinced by Wednesday on the road. Obviously, Ipswich are the worst team in the league by a long-stretch this term and I believe we have enough quality to take all three points. As long as they don’t score the first goal, there is no reason why we can’t come away with a victory.
5. Score prediction
Wednesday always do everything the hard way and I don’t expect things to change here. I think the Owls will receive a boost as it’s Bruce’s first game at the reins. It might not be a convincing performance but it’s the result that matters, 2-1 to Wednesday.