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View From The Town End: Sheffield Wednesday

We get the lowdown on this weekend’s opposition thanks to two Wednesday fans.

Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Sheffield Wednesday are, like Reading, in a bit of a rut after an impressive play-off finish last season. To work out why, we asked Owls fans Joe Crann and Louis Shackshaft to give us the lowdown on their team. You can find them on Twitter @YesWeCrann and @LouisShackshaft

Is Carlos Carvahal still the right man to take Sheffield Wednesday forward?

Joe Crann: Part of me still hopes that Carlos is the right man to take us forward, because he helped spark our return to being a force again, but on the other side of the coin I’m worried about the way forward. Results aren’t coming as regularly as they should be and he’s not blameless.

Louis Shackshaft: Difficult question, I hope so, however, as you know Sheffield Wednesday have had a very average start by their standards. On paper, we have an outstanding team, especially up top, yet we are falling short ever so slightly.

Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

I admire Carvalhal and his previous two seasons in charge have seen us reach the play-offs. We are just so inconsistent at the moment it’s unbelievable. My heart really wants Carvalhal to be the man to guide us to the Premier League, yet, in my head I have my doubts.

Our performances, especially away from home have been very lack lustre. I’m a firm believer in looking at the league table at Christmas and judging him then, if we are not in the top six by January, his days could be numbered.

What’s going right for Wednesday right now?

JC: Not much is going right! We’re sat midtable when we should be pushing for at least the play-offs. We’ve seen some good spirit at times - which is a positive - and that ability to fight back has saved our skins a little bit. The Ipswich game was the most recent example.

LS: Another difficult question. We are five games unbeaten, yet are performances are far from being a promotion or even play-off contenders. We are slowly but surely climbing the table, but as you know, we are drawing too many games.

Drawing too often in this league gets you no-where fast and that’s the journey we seem to be on at present.

And what could be going better?

JC: It’d be nice for the players to come out of the blocks better. So often we’re a reactionary team that only seem to wake up once we go a goal down, and it’s not sustainable.

LS: It would be nice to see a little bit more team ethic, desire and dedication on the pitch. Like I said, we are gaining points, but by trying not to concede as oppose to going for the win.

Additionally, we have three key men out injured, Forestieri, Boyd and Hutchinson have all been sidelined for what seems like an age. When those three return I’m hoping for a change in fortunes.

Who's the Sheffield Wednesday dangerman that Reading need to keep quiet on Saturday?

JC: Barry Bannan is the player that dictates everything for us. If he’s on song then you’re in for a problem. Adam Reach has also been in really good form of late.

LS: Bannan can be instrumental, he always wants the ball, he can drop deep, carry the ball forward and is capable of creating many goal-scoring opportunities. His passing range is awesome.

Bolton Wanderers v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

For me though, I’m a huge fan of Gary Hooper. Hooper is a goal-scorer, end of story. If we give him a couple of chances, he will find the net. He also links up with the midfield very well. His work-rate can someone-times go unnoticed but I think he is quality.

What do you make of Reading at the moment? Is there anyone in our team you're worried about facing?

JC: It’s not been the best of starts for your lads with just three wins since September, but Modou Barrow and Sone Aluko could cause issues for us.

LS: Reading, like Sheffield Wednesday, find themselves in the inconsistent bubble. Last season you were dominating and aggressive, I was very impressed when you came to Hillsborough and you beat us twice last-term very comfortably.

I think Reading are more than capable of beating anyone on their day in this division, yet are probably suffering from high expectations after last season. I expected Reading to be top six contenders again this term.

Regarding players,I’m a big fan of Sone Aluko at this level, his pace, creativity and ability to score are all great assets. I also like Liam Moore, he’s having a great season.

How do you see the match going? And what will the score be?

JC: I’m going to be hopeful, and say 2-0 Wednesday. We need a response from Ipswich and I think we might get one.

LS: I think this fixture will be a tight-fisted affair with few chances. I can’t see either keeper being too busy. If I’m honest, I think one goal will be the difference but I couldn’t tell you which way it will go.

If I must predict I will go with a 2-1 Wednesday win, but only simply because we drew mid-week and are desperate for a win after the international break.