Sheffield Wednesday’s defeat outlines their reliance on Steven Fletcher

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Sheffield Wednesday succumbed to their first defeat of Garry Monk’s reign on Tuesday night as Hull City made them pay at the KCOM Stadium.

Tom Eaves netted his first goal for the Tigers after joining them on a free transfer in the summer just six minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.

He headed home an Eric Lichaj cross in the 72nd minute, but the game could have gone a different way had Sam Winnall converted his chance soon after half-time.

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The Wednesday striker couldn’t keep a header on target from inside the six-yard box as he partnered Atdhe Nuhiu in attack in Steven Fletcher’s shock absence.

Monk revealed after the match that the 32-year-old had a swollen ankle following the Middlesbrough victory at the weekend and he was quite clearly a big miss as the Owls failed to score despite having 12 attempts.

Fletcher has scored five goals in the league so far this campaign which accounts for a third of their total. Therefore it is fair to suggest he’s a significant influence to their success.

Nuhiu and Winnall have a goal each while Jordan Rhodes is quickly entering ‘flop’ status at Hillsborough having cost £10m in 2017 – he’s scored just ten goals in 59 appearances, per Transfermarkt.

It must be a big worry to rely on a 32-year-old as a consistent source of goals because if he does face time out through injury like in this fixture, then they appear to be stuffed.

January is still a long way away, and Wednesday could well be out of the playoff picture by then depending on how results pan out, but it does make it clear to Monk that a striker is needed – especially if he wants that 4-4-2 system to pay off.

Should Rhodes be given a chance?

Yes

Yes

No

No

It did against Boro but that was only because they combatted a serious weakness with the towering frontline presence at the Owls’ disposal – that’s not going to work every single week.

Monk needs options and Tuesday night showed that the cards he’s been dealt aren’t up to it, so when the transfer window swings around, he will surely look to strengthen his attack.

Article title: Sheffield Wednesday’s defeat outlines their reliance on Steven Fletcher

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