The Star‘s Sheffield Wednesday columnist Alan Biggs has revealed what he thinks is missing from Steve Bruce’s Sheffield Wednesday squad.
Bruce, who was appointed at the start of January but did not take charge of his first game for the Owls until earlier this month due to personal reasons, is yet to lose a game with his new charges since taking the reigns – he has, however, drawn three of his four games in the dugout.
The former Aston Villa boss has a good blend of talent in his squad, with names such as Lucas Joao, Adam Reach, Steven Fletcher, Barry Bannan and Fernando Forestieri among the most effective players.
Beyond the aforementioned players and a few others, however, Bruce doesn’t have too much depth within his ranks to mount a serious charge for promotion, or even a play-off spot, as of yet.
Biggs said: “The actual turning point of the season was the four-match unbeaten run under caretaker boss Lee Bullen – in advance of the structured implementation of team Bruce – that headed off sudden relegation fears.
“Not that the dressing room hasn’t responded positively to a fresh approach led by one of the game’s most naturally adept man-managers. Ultimately, though, it’s about the strength and balance of the squad. It’s sorely lacking.”
He continued: “The fact that a top heavy squad could not be thinned in the last window is proving more problematic than it looked at the time.
“Yes, it’s giving the new boss a protracted period to judge with an open mind every player, including the ten out of contract in the summer. But many, or most, will have to go.”
Ultimately, the former Manchester United player can’t do too much until he has his first proper transfer window to even out his squad.
The Owls team is far too top heavy, with a number of experienced and effective strikers struggling for any decent service, due to the lack of quality in other areas of the team.
The defence is looking fairly settled and much stronger after a flustered start to the campaign, but clearly improvement from the strike-force backwards is still needed.
One thing is for certain. Bruce looks to have agreed to an initial overhaul job, and will need to do his work in the market before he can start to be judged seriously on results.