This has been a wretched season to support Sheffield Wednesday.
The Owls are staring down the barrel of relegation and not even sacking Garry Monk has helped them in their pursuit to beat the drop.
However, with fans hoping and praying for some festive cheer in an arduous year, Tony Pulis has now recorded encouraging results in two successive games.
His side defeated Coventry last weekend and on Boxing Day, they drew 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers. Given their league position of 11th place, that certainly wasn’t a bad result for Wednesday. Although, they do need to start picking up wins quickly in order to move out of the relegation zone.
That is unlikely to be achieved with someone like Liam Palmer in the side, though, a player who was particularly average against Rovers on Saturday.
It’s been difficult to conclude that the Scot has had a good campaign and on today’s evidence, it only proved why Pulis can’t afford to rely on him.
Although Joey Pelupessy arguably could have done more to prevent the equaliser, it was Palmer who provided the least amount of impetus in the entire squad.
On the right flank, he failed to provide a much-needed injection and going forward, failed to complete a single cross or key pass. Defensively, the Scotland international was also distinctly average.
He won just 33.3% of the duels he contested which included only two tackles. Palmer made one clearance but didn’t intercept a single attack and had fewer touches – 33 – than goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.
Having gone a goal ahead, this game was there for the taking but the football was languid and Sheffield Wednesday ultimately didn’t create many chances. Of course, that isn’t Palmer’s primary objective in this side but like a few players out there, including Pelupessy, he rarely offered anything positive to the team.
With Sheffield Wednesday in such dire straits, Pulis needs to work out whether Palmer is the right man for the job. On this showing, he isn’t good enough.
The right-back has to improve.