Mike7077

From Somewhere to Somewhere... via Somewhere!

244 posts in this topic

[center][IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedLogoSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]AUGUST: PART 2[/B][/center]

[B]Tuesday August 20th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Roots Hall, Southend-on-Sea[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SouthendvsSheffWed.jpg]Southend Utd 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

It was nice to get back to winning way, and the performance was a definite improvement on Saturday's. But I was still left feeling frustrated that we couldn't turn our dominance into a more comfortable win. The longer it went on, the more I felt that Southend might sneak it, and that would have felt like an almighty punch in the stomach. In the end, the best team won.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Lewis Buxton - The right-back is a bit of a Wednesday icon and he provided the assist for Madine's late goal. A solid display.


[B]Saturday August 24th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsBournemouthSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Bournemouth[/URL][/B]

It's safe to say I'm spitting feathers. This was a carbon copy of the Tranmere game, except that Bournemouth got their goal much, much later. We spent the game building attacks and watching the break down as another side came to Hillsborough and defended their way to victory. I take the blame for the goal, though. I decided a point wasn't enough and pushed too many men forward. Another attack broke down, Bournemouth raced down the other end and scored. Awful. The likes of Boyd and Eagles should be a creative force in this league, but they're underperforming massively.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Inigo Calderon - Playing at right-back, Calderon got forward constantly and would have benefitted from the players around him being more on their game.


[B]Tuesday August 27th, 2013[/B]
[B]Carling Cup 2nd Round[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsQPRSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 0-3 Queen's Park Rangers[/URL][/B]

QPR have just been relegated into the Championship, so I didn't expect an easy game. Still, we shouldn't be losing like this. After doing well up to half-time, we collapsed in the second half and deserved nothing from it. True, QPR have held onto much of their squad from the Premier League and have good players, but we never even tried to live with them in the second half. We still haven't scored at Hillsborough.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris Eagles - He wasn't great, but he was the only one who looked like he might produce something.


[B]Saturday August 31st, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Boundary Park, Oldham[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/OldhamvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Oldham Athletic 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

Despite our woes at home, we have a 100% record on the road in August. However, this was another woeful, sloppy, turgid, unimaginative, borderline disgraceful showing. We couldn't string passes together. We couldn't get the ball off Oldham when they came forward and we rode our luck throughout. Oldham can feel very hard done by because we were terrible and they deserved a point at the very least. Another sending-off doesn't help, either.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Mark Beevers - The centre-back kept us in the game with two fantastic last-gasp blocks and also cleared a shot off the line. The only player who can feel any pride in his performance today.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] Glen Moss - Too many players were out of sorts this month, so the goalkeeper I brought with me from Gold Coast is the only choice. He was the only player to offer any sort of consistency. His handling was good, and it had to be at times.


[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] With the high standards this club has to set itself in this league, August was a disappointing month. By winning all our away games, we've stayed in touch with the top, but that tells little of the story. We were disjointed throughout, with the exception of the Stevenage game. We look pretty toothless going forward. If things don't improve, I could be out of a job before Christmas. And I'd deserve it. A very worrying start. My biggest concern is watching players like George Boyd and Chris Eagles struggle for any kind of form. I thought they'd take the league by storm, but they were really poo

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You were terribly unlucky on the Gold Coast and I feel you were right to move onto Sheffield Wednesday.

Good luck!

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I feel I had my share of good luck in Australia, too, to be fair. It's funny, I thought I'd pine a bit for Gold Coast after I resigned. It's hard not to get attached after what we achieved, and yet I'm actually not missing it at all. I'm already immersed in a much bigger challenge with Wednesday.

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[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]SEPTEMBER[/B][/center]


[B][U]This Month's Fixtures[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SeptemberFixturesSnip.jpg[/IMG]

Despite our poor home form, I'm looking at the three home games this months thinking this gives us a good chance to get in amongst the leaders. Surely we'll click at Hillsborough eventually? The away trip to Brentford will be tough. I fancy Brentford for a promotion push. Then there's the small matter of a derby with Rotherham at the end of the month. First up is a trip to Cambridge in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. That looks eminently winnable to me.


[B][U]This Month's Results[/U][/B]

[B]Tuesday September 3rd, 2013[/B]
[B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North 1st Round[/B]
[B]Abbey Stadium, Cambridge[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/CambridgevsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Cambridge Utd 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

The U's have made an inauspicious start to their League Two campaign and probably didn't expect much from this. They certainly didn't test us. You could see that we were superior in every department and the only mystery is how the score stayed down at 3-0. I don't prioritise this competition, but a comfortable win is always satisfying. Hopefully it might spur the players on a little.

[i]NOTE: Will Keane, who scored our first goal, came in after I'd posted the pre-season update, on loan from Man Utd. He's a striker.[/i]

[B]MOTM:[/B] Matt James - This lad is growing into the team and this game was made for him. His passing was crisp and he deserved his goal.


[B]Saturday September 14th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Griffin Park, London[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/BrentfordvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Brentford 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

We lost to the better team today. We still haven't found our rhythm and look awkward. Brentford were confident and their football flowed. Nevertheless, we did take the lead and I was hoping we might be able to see it out from there. Sadly, Brentford stepped it up and took the points. It's not that I don't think we should be winning at places like Brentford, because I do. But I can't begrudge the better team on the day their win.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Jeff Hughes - It was another uncomfortable day for many of our players, but the Northern Irish winger had a good game and scored our goal.


[B]Tuesday September 17th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsCoventrySnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Coventry City[/URL][/B]

Well, we have finally scored at home and finally won at home, but it was a frustrating evening. This was our best performance since the win at Stevenage, but we again looked incapable of breaking through the opposition's defensive setup. In the end, substitute David Healy notched his first goal for the club to grab us all three points, but we risk the kind of defeats we saw against Tranmere and Bournemouth when we miss chance after chance and struggle for ideas.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris Eagles - Eagles has really struggled since coming in on loan, but he was our best player today. He's all about running and flair and he showed what he can do today.


[B]Saturday September 21st, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsGillinghamSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Gillingham[/URL][/B]

We were going to thump someone eventually. Things really came together today. It wasn't scintillating, but we finally started winning second balls and finding feet with our passes. Basic stuff, really. And, crucially, we were sharp in front of goal. If I was being extremely critical, it perhaps should have been 7-0 or 8-0 instead of just the 4-0, but I suppose I shouldn't be greedy. One thing we have always done is put teams on the back foot and make them defend. Today, we found our way through.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Mark Beevers - I wonder if Beevers will be my new Ante Rozic. He scored his first of the season today, heading home from a corner. He gets on the end of lots of corners and free-kicks.


[B]Wednesday September 25th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsNottsCoSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Notts County[/URL][/B]

Business as usual, then. Yes, County had more possession, but every meaningful attacking move (and there were lots of them) were made by us. We battered County's goal, but had reverted back to failing to put the damn thing away. To compound my frustration, the one time County got near our goal, Chris Eagles demonstrated why he's no defender, making a pointless and reckless challenge to concede a penalty. Nightmare stuff.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Sammy Clingan - Clingan is an effective midfielder both at winning the ball and pinging passes about. He wasn't at his best today, but he put a decent shift in.


[B]Saturday September 28th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Rotherham Community Stadium, Rotherham[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/RotherhamvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Rotherham Utd 2-4 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

With Sheffield Utd in the Championship, the games against Rotherham are probably our biggest of the season. And this was also our most exciting game of the season so far. Rotherham contributed, but we'd brought our shooting boots today. We had to recover from the setback of conceding an early goal, but once in front, we never looked in too much danger. Nice to have George Boyd finding a bit of form. I had a chat with him and it seems to have paid off.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Gary Madine - The aforementioned Boyd played well, but Madine's second brace of the season, and some eyecatching interplay with others, stole the show.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip-2.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip-2.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] Mark Beevers - I'm still waiting for someone to step forward with a bit of consistency, but Beevers had a decent month. He's only 23 and has been a regular at the club since emerging through the youth ranks.


[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] We're a bit one-step-forward-two-steps-back at the minute. But at least we've started scoring goals. And we're only four points off the automatic promotion slots, so there's no need to worry too much yet. At the back, we seem pretty sound, but I do think the team as a whole is going through a period of attempting to gel. I made a lot of signings and clearly people are learning to adapt to one another. On the whole, September is okay. A few wins in a row would be nice at some point soon, though.

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[quote name='deltablue']More pain for Portsmouth I see.[/QUOTE]

In other people's games, I've seen them end up struggling in League Two because they start every season with a points deduction. Judging by how they're doing in my game, I think they'll stay up comfortably. Their squad is tiny, though. They have fewer than eleven players in their first team squad.

In other, frankly bizarre, news, the new England manager is Terry Connor. Connor's route to the job involves finishing 9th with Wolves; replacing David Moyes at Everton who was sacked for finishing 14th (how realistic) and then replaced Connor at Wolves only to be sacked with Wolves in 15th; Connor then has Everton in midfield but leaves because England are obviously impressed with his CV.

Sometimes this game is so stupid.

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Hey Mike7077, just scanned the career. Very interesting so far. I took on Gold Coast in another career...support there is difficult. Completely understand the move to England :)

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[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]OCTOBER[/B][/center]


[B][U]This Month's Fixtures[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/OctoberFixtures.jpg[/IMG]

There are some tough-looking fixtures this month. The likes of Colchester, Preston and Barnsley are looking to challenge for promotion and won't go easy on us, while Leyton Orient have made an incredible start and sit top of the league. Given our struggle to put together strong, coherent and dominant displays, I can take nothing for granted. But I still think a squad as strong as ours should be coming through that month with plenty of points on the board. We have to try and push on towards the top two now.

[i]NOTE: The Barnsley game was pushed back after I took the screenshot due to international call-ups.[/i]


[B][U]This Month's Results[/U][/B]

[B]Saturday October 5th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Deepdale, Preston[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/PrestonvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Preston North End 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

It's like the players are actively trying to get me sacked. They miss a host of really good chances, and then Reda Johnson decides to slide in on a Preston forward in the box, despite the fact he was running toward the corner flag and absolutely no danger. The problem we're having is that, when we don't do enough to win, we're not coming away with a draw. There's always a moment (or a few moments) where we gift something to the opposition. Today has me wondering if I different tactical approach is needed, because what I used with Gold Coast isn't working here.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Glen Moss - If in doubt, give it to the keeper! But to be fair, Moss was the only player who did his job properly today. It felt like a gamble to sign him, but it looks like money well spent.


[B]Tuesday October 8th, 2013[/B]
[B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North 2nd Round[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsDoncasterSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Doncaster Rovers[/URL][/B]

We either don't score or we score a hatful! This was a pleasure to watch and the first time I've felt like we actually clicked. I'd trade it for all three points in our previous match, though. Still, I'd like to win this competition and we certainly had no trouble seeing of Doncaster, who, having been relegated from the Championship, are really struggling to get to grips with League One and brought their form from the league into this match. The only blot on our copybook was Ryan Tunnicliffe's needless and silly red card for lunging in when already 3-0 up. We need to cut out the indiscipline.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris Eagles - The winger bagged two goals and ripped Donny apart. Hopefully he'll start to find some form from here.


[B]Saturday October 19th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/ColchestervsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Colchester Utd 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

Football is crazy sometimes. Colchester must have felt mugged. They dominated the match from start to finish, though without mustering a single shot on target. We managed three shots in the entire match, all of which resulted in goals. We're still not playing well, but at least we found a clinical edge today. The two late goals put a pretty undeserved gloss on things in the end, but I never sniff three points and a 3-0 win.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris Eagles - For the second match in a row, Eagles scores and also puts in a really good performance. We may not have deserved such a comfortable-looking win, but Eagles deserved to be on the winning side.


[B]Wednesday October 23rd, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsBarnsleySnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Barnsley[/URL][/B]

With this match being rearranged, a win would allow us to claw back some of the teams above us. I switched to a 4-4-2, completely disregarding the 4-3-2-1 that brought so much success to me in Queensland, and it really seemed to work. We put Barnsley to the sword with a scintillating display of attacking football and, for the first time since the opening day, we were winning second balls and dominating midfield. Wonderful.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Inigo Calderon - Chris O'Grady grabs the headlines with his brace, but the Spanish right-back, on loan from Brighton, was the star of the show for me. I like full-backs who bomb forward and Calderon did that to great in fact, capping a great performance with a late screamer to put the seal on a fantastic result.


[B]Saturday October 26th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsLeytonOrientSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Leyton Orient[/URL][/B]

A top of the table clash against a side that have made a brilliant start. I was a bit worried about the fact that we'd played on Wednesday while they hadn't played since Saturday, but I needn't have worried. We look like I expect a Sheffield Wednesday side in League One to look - i.e. better than everyone else. This result brings us to within a point of top spot and our goal difference looks better and better. Will we ever draw, though?

[B]MOTM:[/B] Michael Tonge - At 30, Tonge is one of our more experienced players. He's also a bit of a Bramall Lane icon, but he did the business for Wednesday today. His goal was a long-range screamer, which seems to be all he ever scores. He ran the midfield and deserves the award.


[B]Tuesday October 29th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Brunton Park, Carlisle[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/CarlislevsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Carlisle Utd 2-4 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

Cumbria on a damp Tuesday evening in late October anyone? Not ideal, but we coped. We continue to look sharp in front of goal, with winger Jeff Hughes (only playing due to injury to George Boyd) scoring a brace to add to his goal against Orient. Gary Madine also scored against his former club. Carlisle looked decent going forward and made me nervous a couple of times with their goals, but the result was the right one in the end. We're really moving now.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Jeff Hughes - Hughes has made a better start to the season than George Boyd and his two-goal haul and all-round strong showing earn him the award.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip-3.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip-3.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] Chris Eagles - For the first time, it could have gone to a number of players. Eagles came into his own this month, though. He was exciting, creative and scored some goals. About time!


[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] After the defeat at Preston, I was despairing of our campaign. We looked unimaginative, impotent and with a penchant for self-distruction. But we came out of our shell after that and it turned into a bright month in which we moved into second. I now fancy a good tilt at promotion. It's going to be a fun ride!

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[quote name='cerud']Hey Mike7077, just scanned the career. Very interesting so far. I took on Gold Coast in anyother career...support there is difficult. Completely understand the move to England :)[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I don't think anything could get them through the door there. It was time to ship out.

Nice to have you on board. :)

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The set up this career is extensive! Love the summaries of each match. Definitely a lot of work :thup:

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Solid work there. Nice to see you climb the table.

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All or nothing so far, very good after the match against Preston.

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[quote name='ToffeeViola']Enjoying your career! :thup:[/QUOTE]

Thanks! There's plenty more to come. :)

[quote name='cerud']The set up this career is extensive! Love the summaries of each match. Definitely a lot of work :thup:[/QUOTE]

You'd be surprised. Most of the updates don't take more than about ten minutes to put together. I should point out that I do the little match write-ups immediately after each game rather than once the month is over. If, for example, I lost a match and then won all the others, the subsequent good run might influence what I say about the first match. I assume most people don't read them anyway, but I actually find it quite useful typing them out and thinking about the matches. It helps.

[quote name='SRL88']Solid work there. Nice to see you climb the table.[/QUOTE]

Thanks. This team is unpredictable, though. Could easily go back down again.

[quote name='deltablue']I think you're hitting a good stride.[/QUOTE]

[quote name='AcidBurn']All or nothing so far, very good after the match against Preston.[/QUOTE]

Finally look like we can score goals. But sometimes we struggle to break teams down and then end up losing. I wonder if we will ever draw.

[quote name='iHeadHunta x']Brilliant career so far mate![/QUOTE]

Thanks, man. I'm loving the kiss at the end of your username.

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If you go the entire season without drawing in the league I will consider that the greatest achievement I have ever seen on FM.

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[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]NOVEMBER[/B][/center]


[B][U]This Month's Fixtures[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/NovemberFixturesSnip-2.jpg[/IMG]

Plenty to look forward to this month. In the league, I'll be looking for maximum points to really push on in our promotion charge, although I look at the away fixture at Swindon at the end of the month as a tricky one. No doubt Paolo Di Canio (still in charge there) will have plenty to say about that one. Other than that, the other league fixtures are really quite winnable. We play Walsall of League Two in the Johnstone's Paint trophy and also travel to Eastwood Town of the Blue Square Bet North league in the FA Cup 1st Round. Should be a fun month.


[B][U]This Month's Results[/U][/B]

[B]Saturday November 2nd, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Gigg Lane, Bury[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/BuryvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Bury 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

In the end, I was okay with taking a point from this. We were better than Bury in the first half but produced our usual trick of failing to take chances. Bury came flying out of the traps after half-time and took the lead. I was wondering how to try and salvage something and expecting not to, but thankfully the in-form Chris O'Grady came up with a late goal. Michael Tonge will be missing for a few weeks from the injury he picked up here.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris O'Grady - He's looked our liveliest forward of late and popped up with a much-needed goal here.


[B]Saturday November 9th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsChesterfieldSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Chesterfield[/URL][/B]

Chesterfield were on a three-game unbeaten run, but lay in 22nd going into this. Nothing but a good win would have been acceptable to me. Truth be told, we allowed them too much of the ball and had to ride our look from time-to-time before finally taking control in the second half. We probably deserved the win, but credit to Chesterfield for the way they passed the ball and for their positive approach. We just had a little too much for them in the end.

[B]MOTM:[/B] George Boyd - The winger is slowly starting to adapt to the demands of a club of this size, and he was the star of the show today.


[B]Tuesday November 12th, 2013[/B]
[B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North Quarter-Final[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsWalsallSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Walsall[/URL][/B]

I wasn't going to take lightly a Walsall side flying high at the top of League Two and with nothing to lose here, but in the end they sat back and let us make all the play. Although we had to wait until the 83rd minute to seal it, I never felt like we weren't fully in control of this one. The board place no importance on this competition, but each win is bringing us a little closer to the final and I'd like to win it.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Sammy Clingan - With Tonge out injured, I'm looking for Clingan to step up. He ran the midfield today.


[B]Saturday November 16th, 2013[/B]
[B]FA Cup: 1st Round[/B]
[B]Coronation Park, Eastwood[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/EastwoodvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Eastwood Town 2-4 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

From 3-0 up and cruising, suddenly little Coronation Park was rocking as Eastwood threatened an incredible comeback. The Blue Square North side brought substitute Markel Bailey off the bench and, ten minutes later, he'd scored twice to give the Nottinghamshire side hope. They pressed for an equaliser in a game that should have been well over and I was left praying we'd hang on. We had absolutely strolled into a 3-0 lead, with Eastwood offering nothing. But they found something from somewhere and Gary Madine's late goal was a huge relief.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Sammy Clingan - The Northern Ireland international is clearly the man against lower league opposition. He was excellent again today.


[B]Saturday November 23rd, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsDoncasterSnip-1.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Doncaster Rovers[/URL][/B]

At half-time, I was fuming, and the players knew it. I wasn't necessarily fuming with them, though. We battered Donny for 45 minutes, having taken the lead inside 50 seconds, but missed a hatful of great chances to extend our lead. Why do we insist on doing that? Then, right on the stroke of half-time, up steps George Friend (free-kick taking attribute of 9, never takes free-kicks) to curl a beauty into the top corner. The second half was, if anything, more even, with Rovers having the odd chance here and there and us huffing and puffing. Mark Beevers eventually got the crucial goal, heading home from a Sammy Clingan corner. Frustratingly, Eagles's yellow card means he misses the upcoming trip to Swindon.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris Eagles - Eagles looks the part lately and was at his pacy, direct best in this game. His first minute goal was a wonderful strike.


[B]Saturday November 30th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]County Ground, Swindon[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SwindonvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Swindon Town 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

We're yet to lose a game where I didn't feel we gave the opposition all the help they needed, as opposed to just being beaten by the better side. It was never like this at Gold Coast. Today we got our noses in front, missed more good chances to score, and then played in Gary Twigg twice to score for Swindon. I was worried about this game and knew it would be tough, but we gifted the points to Swindon and that is maddening. I'm not a happy bunny today.

[B]MOTM:[/B] George Boyd - Another solid, lively and creative display from Boyd. I now feel that I have the player I thought I was getting.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip-4.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip-4.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] George Boyd - It was a toss-up between Boyd and Clingan, but the Scot produced better displays in the bigger games. If he carries on the way he's been playing, League One should watch out.


[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] I'm feeling the pressure. You can tell because I'm reacting very differently to games, whether we win, lose or draw, than I did in Australia. I've gotten us to the top at last, which I'm pleased about, but if anything I now feel more tense. A slight dip in form could be enough to get me the sack. November delivered just about enough points in the league, and our cup progress was satisfying, but we're still having to work very hard for every point we get.

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[center][IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedLogoSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]DECEMBER[/B][/center]


[B][U]This Month's Fixtures[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/DecemberFixtures-2.jpg[/IMG]

December is always a busy month for teams in the npower Football League, and we certainly have plenty to play for. Important league fixtures, a chance to progress further in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy and an FA Cup 2nd Round tie all serve to make it a potentially great month, and also a potentially disappointing one. In the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, we face a trip to Crewe Alexandra's new stadium, once again facing League Two opposition. In the cup, we travel to League Two side Yeovil Town. Plenty of league fixtures mean it could be a hard month on the old legs.


[B]Wednesday December 4th, 2013[/B]
[B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North Semi-Final[/B]
[B]Alexandra Stadium, Crewe[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/CrewevsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Crewe Alexandra 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday - [i]Sheffield Wednesday win 4-3 on penalties[/i][/URL][/B]

This was hardly the response I was looking for after our defeat to Swindon. We laboured and we huffed and we puffed but we were nowhere near good enough and the better chances to win the game fell Crewe's way. They'll feel they've been hard done by in not winning this, while I feel we've had a lucky escape. I'm glad to be through, but I hope this performance isn't a harbinger of a more general malaise that could derail our promotion push.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Mark Beevers - The 23 year-old centre-back has been at Hillsborough all his career and is getting better and better. He singlehandedly kept the Railwaymen at bay at times.


[B]Saturday December 7th, 2013[/B]
[B]FA Cup: 2nd Round[/B]
[B]Huish Park, Yeovil[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/YeovilvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Yeovil Town 1-4 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

It may have been my birthday, but I left Huish Park feeling little in the way of cheer. Somehow we won 4-1, but this was another ghastly display of football in which a team from the division below our own outplayed us for long periods. We don't string passes together, we shoot when we shouldn't, we allow the opposition time on the ball and we miss far too many chances. Today, somehow, we've come out with what looks like a convincing win. Anyone who watched it would be mystified as to how we won by three goals. In the end, the extra quality we have must have been the decisive factor. This is very harsh on a spirited Yeovil, though. Home to Fulham in the next round.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris O'Grady - He isn't consistent enough, but he scored today and otherwise linked up reasonably well with others.


[B]Saturday December 14th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsWycombeSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Wycombe Wanderers[/URL][/B]

The Chairboys have made a fantastic fist of things so far and are challenging for a playoff spot, but they were never in this. Their striker Danny Ings is the top scorer in League One, but we did a good job of keeping him quiet. We look much better at home than we do away at the moment and this was a very comfortable win, but I'm again left cursing our inability to finish chances and feeling frustrated at us hitting the woodwork over and over. This could and should have been a rout.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Sammy Clingan - Clingan is growing in influence, to the point where Middlesbrough are being linked with a £1.1m move for him! He was very good in this game.


[B]Saturday December 21st, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Plainmoor, Torquay[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/TorquayvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Torquay Utd 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

I'm now convinced we've got two problems; dodgy away form and strikers lacking confidence. They're just not scoring. We took an early lead in this against strugglers Torquay, and could have been out of sight by half-time. But we proceeded to pass up numerous chances and then the Gulls came back at us in the second-half. After their equaliser we looked clueless as to how to break them down and I'm left with much to ponder regarding our performances at the moment.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris Eagles - Eagles scored an absolute beauty and ran Torquay ragged. He's out-of-contract at the end of the season. I must sign him.


[B]Thursday December 26th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsPortsmouthSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Portsmouth[/URL][/B]

Portsmouth are still in a mighty fine mess with a tiny squad and a ten-point deduction. One feels their slide is not yet complete. We made life difficult for ourselves roday thanks to Chris O'Grady's early red card and, yet again, our profligacy in front of goal. But with ten men, you take any kind of win. It concerns me that Madine and O'Grady are misfiring so badly at the moment and it concerns me that teams create chances too easily against us, but Pompey were well beaten here today.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Jose Semedo - In difficult circumstances such as being a man light, you look for others to step up. Semedo was calm and collected all match and earned his goal.


[B]Saturday December 28th, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]The Valley, London[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/CharltonvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Charlton Athletic 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

Yet again, I have the same complaint. Charlton are way off the pace and couldn't get a foothold early on as we dominated. But we failed to convert our chances and were punished by a much more clinical Charlton in the second half. It has to be said, Danny Haynes goal was a bit special to give them the lead, running mazily from his own half. But I felt we could have stopped him in his tracks at some point. Overall, it's just a really galling defeat and a really galling way to lose. A draw would have been a respectable result and was the least our play probably deserved, but we lack that killer instinct at the moment. The big question is, do I go shopping for a striker in January?

[B]MOTM:[/B] Sammy Clingan - Everyone had an off-day, but Clingan was solid enough. He never lets us down.


[B]Tuesday December 31st, 2013[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsStevenageSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Stevenage[/URL][/B]

Our home form is fine at the moment. Chris O'Grady scored which means a striker is finally back on the scoresheet (Gary Madine missed this one through injury), but if my appeal over his red card fails, he'll be suspended again. As with the Wycombe game earlier in the month, I really feel this should have been a pounding. Stevenage were on the back foot throughout and we had, would you believe, 14 shots on target out of 26 shots in total. Just the two goals, though, but at least we got a response after the disappointment of Charlton.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Leon Panikvar - The Slovak left-back is one of those players you doubt when you arrive at a club, but who quietly earns your respect. He's been good all season and made both goals today.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip-5.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip-5.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] Sammy Clingan - His performances have been a real highlight and it's no surprise to me that he's caught the eye of a Championship side. It'd be a blow to lose him, but a bid of over £1m would be very hard to resist.

[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] We're past the halfway point now and sit top of the league, which means I'm on target. But you can see from the table how tight it is. A bad run could derail our promotion push very quickly indeed. And despite our decent home form and good league position, I'm concerned about our play, which hasn't been good enough at times. Still, with the title in our hands, promotion a real possibility, one match between ourselves and a cup final and an FA Cup tie with Fulham in the 3rd Round sorted, it was a productive enough month.

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Sitting on top at the halfway point is a great achievement that, unfortunately...means nothing :) The fans only care for the standings at the end of the dance. Maybe hunting for that quality striker will give you what you need. Great so far! :)

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[quote name='cerud']Sitting on top at the halfway point is a great achievement that, unfortunately...means nothing :) The fans only care for the standings at the end of the dance. Maybe hunting for that quality striker will give you what you need. Great so far! :)[/QUOTE]

No way I can bring a decent striker in in January. I have targets, but they're only feasible in the summer really. Gonna look for a possible short-term loan.

I'm a bit worried about the possibility of promotion in so much as I'm yet to taste any real difficulty. Things have gone well for me ever since I started this save.

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Just before posting the update for January, it's worth a quick look at what business we did. Well, firstly, nobody left the club. A few players did arrive, though.

I brought in three youngsters whose contracts had all expired with Bohemians in Ireland. They look to have modest potential. [B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SimonWhiteSnip.jpg]Simon White[/URL][/B] is a 22 year-old who can play anywhere across the back four. At 22, he needs to be involved with the first team and looks an okay player, though nothing special. He's very much a back-up option. 18 year-old [B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/PeirceOBrienSnip.jpg]Peirce O'Brien[/URL][/B] and 17 year-old [B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/PeterLennonSnip.jpg]Peter Lennon[/URL][/B] are very much nods to the future. They're unlikely to feature this season.

Later in the month, having scoured unsuccessfully the market for a cheap striker who might score goals, I ended up bringing [B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/NileRangerSnip.jpg]Nile Ranger[/URL][/B] in on a three-month loan from Newcastle. Looking at Ranger's history and attributes, I doubt he will bag many goals, but he at least gives us another option up top and perhaps his pace will come in useful.

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[center][IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedLogoSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]JANUARY[/B][/center]


[B][U]This Month's Fixtures[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/JanuaryFixturesSnip-1.jpg[/IMG]

There are three standout fixtures this month. Firstly, there's a tie in the FA Cup with Fulham. The Cottagers are in the top half of the Premier League and doing well, so we go into that with no real pressure on us. In the league, matches away at Bournemouth and Notts County will be crucial in our promotion effort. Both sides are chasing promotion themselves and would love to start reeling us in. Meanwhile, the first leg of our Johnstone's Paint North Final (effectively a semi-final) is at home to Coventry, a team I'm sure we can beat.


[B][U]This Month's Results[/U][/B]

[B]Saturday January 4th, 2014[/B]
[B]FA Cup: Third Round[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsFulhamSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Fulham[/URL][/B]

Unbelievable! It would appear we need Premier League opposition in order to turn it on! With O'Grady missing through suspension and Madine out injured, I didn't see how we could trouble Fulham, but trouble them we certainly did. David Healy even scored! In fairness, the ball was sitting on the line for him as he tapped it in. I can take so much from this display. Fulham were hardly given a snip and we finally found some kind of clinical streak. In the long-term I want the visit of clubs like Fulham to be the norm at Hillsborough, but while we languish in League One, I can be very proud of this result and the performance that went with it.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Sammy Clingan - Another excellent midfield display from this guy, this time against top class opposition. His beautiful free-kick set us on our way.


[B]Wednesday January 8th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsSouthendSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Southend Utd[/URL][/B]

It was back down to Earth with a bump after our FA Cup heroics. Southend clearly proving a tougher test than Fulham. We reverted to type here, having lots of possession but struggling to do much with it after Mark Beevers' early goal. It's still a big three points in our quest for promotion, though, and it at least marks a change from our earlier season form when we were losing games like this.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Mark Beevers - A towering defensive display capped off with a goal. Beevers is such a reliable player and a major reason why our defence is the division's meanest.


[B]Saturday January 11th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Prenton Park, Birkenhead[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/TranmerevsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Tranmere Rovers 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

It probably seems disingenuous to complain when we're winning, but I want to win well and to win deservedly. Too often, we're scraping our wins. Never was that more true than today at Tranmere. We effectively did to them what they did to us at Hillsborough earlier in the season - coming away with a 1-0 win after being battered. Tranmere were all over us for much of the match but couldn't find a breakthrough. The early goal was enough and it was at least nice to have Gary Madine back among the goals. It was not so nice that we promptly lost him to injury again.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Inigo Calderon - The Spaniard on loan from Brighton is approaching the end of his time with us. I feel inclined to renew, especially after this sterling performance. He's been vying all season for the right-back slot with Lewis Buxton.


[B]Saturday January 18th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Dean Court, Bournemouth[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/BournemouthvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Bournemouth 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

I viewed the trip to playoff chasing Bournemouth as a very tricky one indeed, and when they took their early lead, I wasn't sure we could turn it around. But, thankfully, we found a level we've not been at in recent weeks and proceeded to dominate, scoring three goals. Madine notched twice and O'Grady came off the bench to grab a goal. How nice it is to see my strikers scoring again. Nile Rangers made his debut today and although he didn't sparkle, his speed and liveliness worked Bournemouth's back line. We deserved this win and it's nice to put a bit of distance between ourselves and a potential promotion rival.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Gary Madine - Who else? Two goals and an all-round good display. I want to see more of this.


[B]Tuesday January 21st, 2014[/B]
[B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North Final - 1st Leg[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsCoventrySnip-1.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Coventry City[/URL][/B]

Even with a place in the final at stake over two legs, there was no way I was naming a full-strength team tonight. There are too many games in the season to prioritise this competition. At the same time, I really want to win it, so it's pleasing that we have taken such a commanding lead. It would take a monumental effort in the 2nd Leg next month for Coventry to turn this around. The lads who came in did a cracking job, proving that we have strength in depth. Nile Ranger scored a beauty on his home debut.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Ryan Tunnicliffe - The youngster on loan from Man Utd has slipped down the pecking order of late, but he came in today and ran the show. Bagged a goal, as well.


[B]Saturday January 25th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsOldhamSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Oldham Athletic[/URL][/B]

Why do my players insist on getting sent off so early on? Chris Eagles the culprit this time for a daft and unnecessary lunge. I was forced to withdraw Nile Ranger after just three minutes in order to get George Boyd on to get us back up to strength in the midfield. Thankfully, the red card didn't stop us from putting on a good performance and getting a straightforward three points against another playoff hopeful. With Madine and O'Grady both scoring, I'm also starting to think the goal drought might be over. O'Grady's strike was an astonishing lob worthy of Lionel Messi or even the great Karel Poborsky.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Matt James - A rare start for the former Man Utd and Reading midfielder, and he took his chance. He created all three goals, and you can't ask for much more than that.


[B]Wednesday January 29th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Meadow Lane, Nottingham[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/NottsCountyvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Notts County 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

A creditable point at Notts County is better than defeat, I guess. Looking at the table, it feels more like a point gained, until you consider how we lost it. Chris O'Grady chose to play a lovely through ball in the 91st minute for Leon Johnson to run onto and score. I wish we could come up with such passes for ourselves more often! It was a kick in the stomach, but one we can move on from. This looked like possibly the toughest fixture of the month, and so it proved, but at least we didn't lose. We played okay, but lost Mark Beevers to injury, which is a real blow.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Gary Madine - Got himself on the scoresheet again and played well. Glad to have him back.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip-6.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip-6.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] Gary Madine - The striker found his shooting boots again in January. I always want at least one striker scoring plenty of goals and, although I doubt I'll be happy with his overall tally come season's end, I'm certainly pleased with his January. He was dangerous, taking up good positions and putting chances away. A big part of our improved performances.


[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] January always seems to be a good month for me. Two years ago, I won every match in the month with Gold Coast, and we came pretty close to repeating that feat last season. This time with Sheff Wed, I was two minutes away from doing it again. It wasn't to be, but we still picked up a lot of points which have us looking, I admit, very good for promotion now. I'm starting to get the butterfly feeling I had last season when it dawned on me I might win the A-League. As for the cups, two phenomenal performances against Fulham and Coventry mean we face Ipswich Town in the FA Cup 4th Round and need to do a professional job to reach the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final. It's shaping up to be a very good season indeed.

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My first one of these at Hillsborough:

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/MOTMSnip.jpg[/IMG]

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Pretty much running away with the league :)

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Cracking month fella.

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Really good career mate enjoyed reading it :) just wondering, where you play Matt James and in what role? Just signed him for my Plymouth team in league 1 and still havn't got the best out of him even though theoretically he should be one of the best players at the club. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on him. Cheers :)

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[quote name='cerud']Pretty much running away with the league :)[/QUOTE]

I wouldn't go that far. The sides below have a game in hand, but we are definitely in a strong position. I get very paranoid in positions like this and start looking at every game like it could be the start of a slip up, so I'm not counting any chickens.

[quote name='SRL88']Cracking month fella.[/QUOTE]

It's easy, this Football Manager lark!

[quote name='Jojo manager']Really good career mate enjoyed reading it :) just wondering, where you play Matt James and in what role? Just signed him for my Plymouth team in league 1 and still havn't got the best out of him even though theoretically he should be one of the best players at the club. I'd be interested to hear your opinion on him. Cheers :)[/QUOTE]

Glad you're enjoying. Plenty more to come. :)

Aah, Matt James. He's a frustration. I'm convinced he's a good player, but he's struggling to get into the team now because I can't get the best out of him. I started the season playing a 4-2-3-1 formation with James playing either AMC or CM. He looked better in the AMC role where there's less pressure on him to win the ball. But we weren't playing well in that formation so I went to 4-4-2 which means James always plays CM when he gets in the team. He does okay, but he's been nowhere near as good there as Michael Tonge and Sammy Clingan. The same goes for Ryan Tunnicliffe.

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[center][IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedLogoSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[size=+2][B]Season 2013/14[/B][/size]
[B]FEBRUARY[/B][/center]


[B][U]This Month's Fixtures[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/FebruaryFixturesSnip-1.jpg[/IMG]

There are some really big games this month. First, we face Ipswich in the FA Cup 4th Round, although we obviously go into that under no real pressure. But after that, we take on fellow promotion hopefuls Brentford, who beat us earlier in the season, followed by a double header with Coventry at the Ricoh Arena. We also face a derby against Rotherham. By the end of the month, we could potentially be FA Cup quarterfinalists, Johnstone's Paint Trophy finalists and well on our way to promotion, or we could we be out of the cups (admittedly unlikely in the JP given our 3-0 lead) and back under pressure in the league. February could make or break our season.


[B][U]This Month's Results[/U][/B]


[B]Saturday February 1st, 2014[/B]
[B]FA Cup: 4th Round[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsIpswichSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Ipswich Town[/URL][/B]

We may have lost, but this is one of those occasions when a manager really can take positives in a match his team lost. We lived with a solid Championship team and hit the woodwork three times. We had our chances and probably didn't deserve to lose. If our promotion push remains on course, I can take heart from this and know that, with the right additions in the summer, we could compete in the Championship. In the end, it's clear that Gary Madine's second red card of the season was key to our defeat. What made it even worse was that Madine's second yellow was for a blatant dive in the box. You just don't do that when you're already on a yellow. It's always disappointing to lose, but I'm reasonably satisfied with our performance. Ipswich will have known they were in a game here.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Leon Panikvar - The left-back has gotten stronger as the season has gone on and made it his own. He was our best player today.


[B][i]After Gary Madine's senseless second yellow for diving, I issued him with a fine of one week's wages. Personally, I think he should consider himself lucky that's all I did. He didn't like it, though, and after a chat, we couldn't find common ground. He's now unhappy, as am I with him. Let's just say he's going to find it suddenly very hard to get in the team.[/i][/B]


[B]Saturday February 8th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsBrentfordSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Brentford[/URL][/B]

Given the mediocrity of League One this season, this was our third top-two class of the season since taking control of top spot (we'd also faced top-two clashes against Notts County and Wycombe). The gulf in class looked even larger than gap in points between ourselves and the Bees as Brentford came to Hillsborough and rolled over, allowing us to extend our lead at the top. Deserving of a mention today is Nile Rangers, who looks very lively since his arrival on short-term loan from Newcastle. From Brentford's perspective, they made this far too easy for us and will be disappointed with their display. I can smell a promotion, I really can.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Michael Tonge - Here is a player resurrecting his career under me. After failing at Stoke and following a rash of loans, he had an okay first season at Wednesday last season. This season, he's been arguably my most important player and ran the game today. Brilliant.


[B]Tuesday February 11th, 2014[/B]
[B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy: North Final - 2nd Leg[/B]
[B]Ricoh Arena, Coventry[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/CoventryvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Coventry City 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday - [i]Sheffield Wednesday win 4-2 on aggregate[/i][/URL][/B]

I named a strong-ish team for this one. With a 3-0 lead, I wanted to rest some players but also to respect Coventry. Perhaps I shouldn't have gone with two up-front, but I felt it was important to give the wo strikers who started some game time. In the end, we did enough. Coventry pressed from time to time, but so did we. We saw more of the ball and created more clear-cut chances, but it was one of those away games we seem to have sometimes where our own misses come back to haunt us. We shouldn't feel too haunted, though. We're in the final. Whatever te board might think, I'm overjoyed to have gone this far.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Nile Ranger - The loanee scored again and I'm so pleased with the impact he's made. It was a shot in the dark, really, but it looks like it may pay off.


[B]Saturday February 15th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Ricoh Arena, Coventry[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/CoventryvsSheffWed-1Snip.jpg]Coventry City 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

If we had to lose one of our double header with the Sky Blues, I'm glad things went the way they did. This was much more one-sided, although I wasn't very happy with the way we let them back into it so soon after going 2-0 up. What I like about this game is how, after they came back to 2-1, we turned the screw and ran out comfortable winners. I'm also glad to see a really strong away performance at last. It's hard to believe we won't be celebrating promotion now. Oh, and Nile Ranger scored again!

[B]MOTM:[/B] Jeff Hughes - The Northern Irishman was at the club when I arrived, but I expected George Boyd to oust him on the left-wing. Hughes has been far better and bossed the game today.


[B]Tuesday February 18th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsRotherhamSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Rotherham Utd[/URL][/B]

I'll be sad to see the back of Rotherham! That's 8-2 to us over two games. Not bad. Our first and third goals today owed a lot to the Millers' 'keeper, Dominic Cervi. The American dropped a routine ball for Chris O'Grady to open the scoring with a straightforward stroke into an open net. After Michael Tonge's pearler to put us 2-0 up, our third came courtesy of another Cervi clanger, this time palming an easily catchable ball into Mark Beevers' path - he couldn't miss. Still, despite our fortune, 4-0 was not flattering and our final goal was a lovely long-range effort from loanee Will Keane. I rested a few players today and was more than satisfied with how the players who came in did.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris O'Grady - O'Grady was at the heart of all our attacking moves today and deserved his goal.


[B]Saturday February 22nd, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Priestfield, Gillingham[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/GillinghamvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Gillingham 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

From 2-0 up and cruising, we end up taking only a point. It was obvious the tide was turning from the moment Nile Ranger missed a penalty that would have sent us 3-0 up and given him a hat-trick, followed by a desperately unfortunate Jose Semedo own goal. The first and second halves could not have been more different from one another. We were on fire for the first 45, but Gillingham came roaring back with a dominant second period. I was left to reflect on whether my choice of half-time teamtalk could have been better. Still, at least Ranger bagged another couple of goals.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris O'Grady - He didn't score today, but O'Grady had another very good game, linking up with different players all around the pitch.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip-7.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip-7.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] Nile Ranger - It really was a shot in the dark with Ranger. He's struggled to establish himself at Newcastle and his loans haven't worked out either. He's with us for three months and it looks like something's clicked for the lad.


[B][i]Just for the record, I had no idea Ranger was on loan with Wednesday in real life right now.[/i][/B]


[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] Looking at the table, it's hard to see how we can't get promoted now. I'm surprised at the mediocrity below us. The league is so bunched up and although that might make it exciting, it's ultimately because there's nothing remarkable about anyone in the division, except possibly ourselves. I don't back anyone to put together the kind of run that could seriously challenge our position now. It's time to start thinking now about how I make us strong enough for the Championship, although I'm still awaiting the offer of a new contract. Our form in the league was superb throughout February, with the exception of the second half of the Gillingham game. The FA Cup defeat to Ipswich doesn't mask a decent campaign in that competition, and we played quite well. Meanwhile, in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, we've made it through to the final. The only downside was my falling out with Gary Madine. Can our relationship be repaired? Well, as far as I'm concerned, he's the one in the wrong, so it's up to him to change his attitude.

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Great season so far. Another good month and you will definitely be fine.

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Thanks for the reply about Matt James. Interesting because my formations are 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 as well! Ironically after I posted Matt James went on a good run of form as my advanced playmaker in AMC. Strange because his attributes clearly point towards AMC yet he is listed as a MC/DMC so it may be because of my retraining :). P.S Great month.

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[center][IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedLogoSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]MARCH[/B][/center]


[B][U]This Month's Fixtures[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/MarchFixturesSnip-1.jpg[/IMG]

This month contains some really tricky fixtures. Preston are in good form, Barnsley are strong, while Colchester and Leyton Orient are eyeing a playoff place. At this stage, given our comfortable lead at the top, the focus is on getting through these games with as many points as possible. Realistically, there's probably a defeat or two in there somewhere, but we can probably afford that if we can eke out a few wins too. It hasn't escaped my notice that there is also a final at the end of the month. Wycombe are flying high in League One so that shouldn't be easy either.


[B][U]This Month's Results[/U][/B]


[B]Saturday March 1st, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsPrestonSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 Preston North End[/URL][/B]

Twice we fell behind to in-form Preston, and we really had to battle for this point. I can't help wondering if the team talk I gave at half-time in the Gillingham match is partly responsible for this slight dip in form. But to be fair, Preston played very well and I can't put everything down to our own flaws. Sometimes you have to take solace in your own team's determination and ability to fight for each other. We couldn't really get going and deserved nothing more than a point. Nile Ranger continues to impress.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Mark Beevers - The centre-back is attracting interest from Premier League side West Ham. He scored our second equaliser today and defended stoutly against a dangerous Preston frontline.


[B]Saturday March 8th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Oakwell, Barnsley[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/BarnsleyvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Barnsley 2-2 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

Our third 2-2 draw in a row means our lead at the top, which was once as wide as 12 points, is now down to eight. Still healthy, but this little slide needs addressing. Nevertheless, it feels like a huge result having been 2-0 down and staring a deserved defeat in the face. Once again, the players found an extra level, I shifted things round and we clawed our way to parity. The star was Nile Ranger, who tapped in our first and then won a penalty for us to equalise. I was nervous about this game. I saw it as a tough away trip to a side with some lethal forwards and Barnsley didn't disappoint. We had no answer to their attacking play and I was worried it would end up at four- or five-nil. In the end, Ranger's intervention allowed us a way back in.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Nile Ranger - It really couldn't be anyone else. He salvaged us a point almost singlehandedly today. He's a punt that really has paid off.


[B]Tuesday March 11th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsColchesterSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Colchester Utd[/URL][/B]

Again, I'm left revelling in our determination to grind something out. We went 1-0 after 11 minutes, having started really well. However, it was as if that early goal was the cue to stop playing because Colchester dominated much of the game from then on and couldn't have deserved their equaliser any more than they did. I was left contemplating our fourth draw in a row, but, two minutes into injury time, that man Nile Ranger popped up with a vital goal that gets us back to winning ways. The players as a whole deserve credit for digging this out, but that's overshadowed by another superb contribution from Ranger. What a signing!

[B]MOTM:[/B] Jeff Hughes - Ranger may have scored the crucial goal, but Hughes provided both of our goals today and never gave his full-back a moment's peace.


[B]Saturday March 15th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Brisbane Road, London[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeytonOrientvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Leyton Orient 1-2 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

Unbelievable! For the second match in a row, we go behind and end up winning through a 92nd-minute strike. It was Ryan Tunnicliffe's strike that did, although it was stupidly chalked up as an own goal by the Orient 'keeper despite the fact that it was on target. Still, despite that strange decision, I would've taken any kind of goal from yet another game in which we couldn't get going. Orient deserved their lead, but we did improve after their goal and worked incredibly hard to find our way back into the match. I couldn't believe my eyes when the winner went in. I suspect this is the form of champions - grinding out results when far from our best.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Jeff Hughes - Hughes has comfortably outplayed my other left-wing option, George Boyd, during the season. This was another stirring display.


[B]Saturday March 22nd, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsCarlisleSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Carlisle Utd[/URL][/B]

With Carlisle struggling against relegation, our excellent home form and a final coming up, I decided to rest some key players. I even restored Gary Madine to the starting line-up. When Jose Semedo headed home our equaliser on 76 minutes, I thought it was "here we go again". After barely stringing two passes together and falling deservedly behind, Semedo's goal appeared to fit a recent pattern. But this time, we were to be thwarted by a side that took advantage of a really off-key display, even accounting for the rested players. Francois Zoko slide home their winner, having been a thorn in our side all day. Nile Ranger was rested from the matchday squad completely, and there was to be no other saviour this time, although Matt James missed a golden chance right at the end. I suppose things were going to catch up with us eventually. Hopefully this is just a slight blip.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Jose Semedo - Everyone had an off day today, but Semedo gave us some hope with his goal.


[B]Tuesday March 25th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]B2Net Stadium, Chesterfield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/ChesterfieldvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Chesterfield 2-4 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

Where to start with this one? There were signs of improvement and we did deserve to win. But it didn't look good when the Spireites took the lead, and nor did it look great when they got back 2-2 after we'd clawed ourselves in front. Our defence has been more porous than usual of late, which allowed Chesterfield chances and made the scoreline look closer than it should have been. We were lively going forward, but had to wait until the last ten minutes to get the two goals that sealed it. Naturally, I was delighted that we again found a way through a sticky situation, but it's a real shame that Nile Ranger picked up an injury that means he's probably played his last game for us. A terrible shame, actually.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris O'Grady - With the furore over Gary Madine and the headline-grabbing displays of Nile Ranger, O'Grady has been quietly doing well up-front. Two goals today gave us a great platform.


[B]Sunday March 30th, 2014[/B]
[B]Johnstone's Paint Trophy: Final[/B]
[B]Wembley, London[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsWycombeSnip-1.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 4-0 Wycombe Wanderers[/URL][/B]

[B][i]SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY WIN THE JOHNSTONE'S PAINT TROPHY!![/i][/B]

And so, my first visit to Wembley ends in triumph! I don't care that the competition isn't highly valued. It's a Wembley final and a piece of shiny silver to lift. It's a good habit to get into! Wycombe came up against us at our absolute best today and I almost feel sorry for them because they had no answer to us. Of particular note is the display from Will Keane, stepping into Nile Ranger's shoes and scoring twice. I don't know if our disjointed recent displays were down to distraction because of this final, but we played with much greater freedom today than of late, especially when I shortened our passing in the second half. To win the trophy is great. To win it so comfortably and so convincingly is even better. A fantastic day for the club. I want more days like this, and I want them with Sheffield Wednesday.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Lewis Buxton - An unsung hero all season, Buxton has been with the club for years and deserved his Wembley day out. That he defended so well and teed up three of our four goals is a huge bonus. The fans must have loved it.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip-8.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip-8.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] Jeff Hughes - The Northern Irishman was signed from Notts County by Dave Jones prior to my arrival. He'd done okay under Jones, but he's doing far better under my management. I'm so glad he's here and he really shone this month.


[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] In some ways it was a frustrating month. I lost two key players to injury in Nile Ranger and Sammy Clingan, while our performance dropped a level. Indeed, it dropped a few levels. We were forced to grind things out and I'm pleased with the battling qualities we showed. Looking at the league table, it's clear that we did enough to maintain a healthy lead, although I feel somewhat fortunate that the rest of the league is so mediocre that nobody can string enough wins together to seriously challenge us. We're not far from crossing the line now.

Winning the Johnstone's Paint Trophy feels amazing. It actually feels better than when my Gold Coast team won the A-League play-offs, though perhaps not quite as good as when that team finished top the following season. Cup wins really are a bonus and, even as one of the favourites, you only need one bum performance and you're out. We avoided that fate and I can add another competition win to my fledgling CV. I really want to use this as a platform to greater things, though.

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Tuesday April 1st, 2014

[B][size=+2]Striker feud looks terminal[/size][/B]
[B]Wednesday manager's relationship with "disgraceful" top scorer hanging by a thread[/B]

[B][i]by Jane Hutton[/i][/B]
[i]Chief Football Reporter[/i][/center]


With Sunday's success at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final still fresh in Hillsborough minds and an eleven point lead at the top of League One going into tomorrow's clash with Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium, it's been a very good season so far for the blue half of Sheffield. But all is not well in the Owls' camp as the crisis over striker Gary Madine continues. Madine, the club's leading goalscorer this season with fifteen goals in all competitions, was sent off in the FA Cup Fourth Round clash with Ipswich Town at Hillsborough on 1st February for a second bookable offence. That second booking was for simulation six minutes from the end of a game that the Tractorboys won 1-0, scoring only moments after Madine's indescretion. He has featured only intermittently since. Hillsborough sources have revealed that Madine was fined for his actions by manager Michael Kobylko, and that a subsequent meeting between manager and striker broke down in acrimony.

In a surprisingly frank interview last night with BBC Radio Sheffield, manager Michael Kobylko revealed his fury with Madine's actions, branding the former Carlisle United player's behaviour a "disgrace". When asked if Madine would still be at the club next season, Kobylko said "it's not about whether Madine will play for us this season or next. Clearly, I need all the players I can get and Madine is a proven goalscorer. It's about attitude and whether Gary wants to earn back my trust. He let us down badly in the cup and did so again by refusing to accept my discipline." Asked whether he regretted the severity of his punishment, Kobylko, who cut his managerial teeth at Gold Coast United in Australia's A-League before being appointed boss of the Owls last summer, said "I don't fine players lightly and I certainly take no pleasure in it. But the way I see it, Gary's actions against Ipswich cost us the game and also reflected badly on the club. The punishment was entirely in line with club policy." As to whether his relationship with Madine could ever be repaired, Kobylko simply stated: "He's welcome to come to me. His agent is welcome to come to me. But I need to see a sea change in attitude and I won't be holding my breath."

Wednesday supporters appear divided on whether they support their manager's actions. Supporters' club spokesman Garry Hucknall told The Star last night: "We have a young manager here and I suspect he's seen a chance to stamp his authority on the squad. I just hope, like all supporters, that we don't come to regret this. Gary Madine has done well for us and we may well miss his goals." It's unlikely Kobylko will face any mass revolt over the Madine situation given the recent Trophy success and the strong likelihood of a promotion to the Championship in May. But fans will be hoping that the manager's iron fist doesn't alienate any other important members of what is said to be an otherwise tight-knit squad.

The Owls are in action down the road at Doncaster tomorrow night in their game in hand over their promotion rivals in League One. Hotshot loanee Nile Ranger will definitely miss out, with young Will Keane, on loan from Manchester United, likely to keep his place following his excellent display at Wembley on Sunday. Midfielder Sammy Clingan is said to be 50/50 for a place on the bench. There are no other injury concerns going into this vital Yorkshire clash.

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Incase anyone wonders, Jane Hutton and Garry Hucknall are fictional creations. Michael Kobylko is fictional only in so much as I am not really a football manager. The Star is real.

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Walking things in the league :cool:. Nice write-up in the newspaper artical to :thup:.

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Well done on the JPT and probably heading up.

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[quote name='SRL88']Walking things in the league :cool:. Nice write-up in the newspaper artical to :thup:.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, man. Have to say it does look like we're crusing to promotion. If you look at our form, we don't look like a side that's running away with it. It's just that everyone else seems to be on a win-lose-draw pattern. They never put runs together. Every time I post a league table there's a different team in 2nd. At the moment it's Preston who've come from nowhere. Probably won't be by the end of the season!

[quote name='deltablue']Well done on the JPT and probably heading up.[/QUOTE]

Gracias, mon frere. I [i]love[/i] winning trophies.

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[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]APRIL/MAY[/B][/center]


[B][U]This Month's Fixtures[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/AprilFixturesSnip-1.jpg[/IMG]

You're not supposed to use the term "formality". It sounds unprofessional. But with only seven games to go and an eleven point lead over 2nd place going into the home stretch, it's hard not to think that promotion and winning the title will be anything other than such. Throw into the mix that we have four home games and three away, and the fact that we're the only team capable of stringing a few wins together and it's hard to see anything other than promotion. As things stand, we need [B]three wins from our final seven matches[/B] to guarantee promotion, and we may end up not even needing that. Here we go...


[B][U]This Month's Results[/U][/B]


[B]Wednesday April 2nd, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/DoncastervsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Doncaster Rovers 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

After our win in the Trophy, I hoped it would kick us on and we'd hit a bit of form. But we went to Doncaster looking tired from a season in which we've gone the distance in that competition as well as reaching the 4th Round of the FA Cup. The games caught up with us and we were brushed aside convincingly by struggling Donny. Frustratingly, though, it was our old achilles heel that did for us, as two Rovers goals were headers from free-kicks. We can't defend them. I would argue that half (if not even more) of the goals we've conceded have come from set-pieces, which seems crazy to me.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Matt James - In a leggy performance, I guess you could say James was the least-worst of them in this one.


[B]Saturday April 5th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsBurySnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Bury[/URL][/B]

This was one of those crazy games you have sometimes. I recalled Gary Madine from his exile, with Nile Ranger still injured and about to return to Newcastle and Will Keane struggling for fitness. Madine repaid me by sticking the ball in the net after just two minutes. I never doubted his ability to score goals in this league. Incredibly, Chris O'Grady then got himself sent off on 6 minutes for exactly the same thing as Madine did in the Ipswich game! He picked up his second yellow for a dive in the box. I was naturally fuming, and would be faced with a decision to make on punishment after the game. To make matters even worse up-front, Madine then picked up an injury which means he may not feature again this season. Thankfully, we were still able to see off promotion-chasing Bury and even David Healy scored! Still, we've been given a bit of a selection crisis up-front. Ranger won't play for us again, Madine is a possibility for the final game of the season at best and O'Grady misses two games. Keane and Healy should be fit, but I'm not convinced by either player.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Jeff Hughes - The winger replaced the injured Madine just before half-time and turned in his usual superb display.


[B][i]After that win, other results went our way. A win in our next game will see us both promoted and crowned Champions! Home to Paolo Di Canio's fading Swindon Town...[/i][/B]


[B]Saturday April 12th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsSwindonSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Swindon Town[/URL][/B]

[B][i]Sheffield Wednesday are promoted from npower League One!![/i][/B]
[B][i]Sheffield Wednesday have won npower League One!![/i][/B]

We left it till the 93rd minute to seal it, but nobody was going to spoil our day! Swindon have been on a slump and are well down the table now with nothing left to play for. The tried hard today and created a few chances but we always looked in control. It wasn't vintage stuff but we did enough, which is something we've made a habit out of. This win means we've got four games left to enjoy and to relax in. I'm incredibly proud of a group of players that had far too much for the rest of the division, and, even without a host of forwards, we had too much for Swindon today.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Ryan Tunnicliffe - The young Man Utd loanee has had a hard season but he played well today and bagged his first league goal for us late on.


[B]Saturday April 19th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Adams Park, High Wycombe[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/WycombevsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Wycombe Wanderers 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

When Wycombe went in front, it looked like our first chance to celebrate promotion might be a bit of a damp squib. The Chairboys looked in the mood for revenge following their defeat at our hands in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final, and they played quite well throughout. But, as has often been the case, we had a touch of extra class and it told in the end. A fairly routine away win.

[B]MOTM:[/B] George Boyd - Boyd has had a low-key season, but this was his day. He was brilliant and even scored a brace.


[B]Monday April 21st, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsTorquaySnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Torquay Utd[/URL][/B]

With this being our second game in three days and with promotion already sewn up, a few fringe players were given a run out against bottom-of-the-table Torquay. The Gulls needed three points to stand any chance of staying up, but we dominated from start to finish and Torquay will begin next season in League Two. They had nothing to offer and the only mystery is how it ended 2-0. It could have been so much more.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris O'Grady - O'Grady didn't respond well to his fine, but he returned to action today, scored a goal and generally played well.


[B]Saturday April 26th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Fratton Park, Portsmouth[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/PortsmouthvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Portsmouth 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL][/B]

This was a bit like the Torquay game in that we've won 2-0 against a side that needed to win to stand a chance of survival. Again, it should have been far more than 2-0, with us hitting the woodwork four times! Pompey is a story that just gets sadder. Their squad is tiny and the players they do have will all leave in the summer. Non-League could beckon. They are [i]still[/i] in administration. Without their ten point deduction, they would have just about stayed up, but as it is, they go down and I take no pleasure in that. I do take pleasure in a strong performance from ourselves today, though.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris Eagles - Rather like Boyd, Eagles has been more low-key than I'd hoped, but he was on his game today.


[B]Saturday May 10th, 2014[/B]
[B]npower League One[/B]
[B]Hillsborough, Sheffield[/B]

[B][URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsCharltonSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 Charlton Athletic[/URL][/B]

We've wrapped the season up with an absolutely superb display against a woeful Charlton who finish 18th. It's yet another game where we could have run up a cricket score but failed to do so. Meanwhile, the Addicks scored with their only shot on target. We had to wait till the second half for goals, but once they came, there was only going to be one winner. A brilliant way to sign off on a wonderful season.

[B]MOTM:[/B] Chris O'Grady - A brace for O'Grady means he finishes the season as our top scorer. He's been good since returning from suspension.


[B][U]League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-TopHalfSnip-9.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/LeagueOne-BottomHalfSnip-9.jpg[/IMG]


[B]Player of the Month:[/B] Jeff Hughes - More class from the Northern Ireland international, although O'Grady might have won it had he not been so stupid against Bury.


[B]Monthly Reflection:[/B] As usual, my thoughts on the season as a whole will follow in a later update. But as for the final month (and a bit), I can hardly complain. The Doncaster game gave me a little cause for concern, but we responded with a host of comfortable wins to see the season out, sealing promotion with games to spare. We tightened up at the back after a more than generous period in that department, and also looked dangerous going forward, even with a mini striker crisis at one point. It was sad to have to relegate Torquay and even sadder to add to Portsmouth's unending misery, but my focus is on us and it was, the Donny game apart, a satisfying run of games.

Well done to Oldham on their surprising promotion.

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I was rightly offered a new contract after the Portsmouth game.

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/NewContractSnip.jpg[/IMG]

I managed to wangle a higher wage than was being offered and also got them to agree to four years instead of three. I see this as a five-year position for me, with one year already down. Obviously, if an amazing job came along, I'd probably take it. But if not, and I avoid the sack, I'd like to do another four years and then take a short break before perhaps moving abroad.

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Just read through this. Have to say well done and I'm glad I've read this all at once. Love careers like this and just hope you don't jump too soon. That contract should ensure you don't.

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Good luck in the Championship. :thup:

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[quote name='Nottingham Forest']Just read through this. Have to say well done and I'm glad I've read this all at once. Love careers like this and just hope you don't jump too soon. That contract should ensure you don't.[/QUOTE]

So glad to know somebody is enjoying my work even half as much as I'm enjoying playing and updating! In terms of jumping "too soon", my full intention is to see the next four years out and then go abroad. It would take a special offer for me to jump ship before then. I've been linked with a few positions lately but none of them are worth walking out on Wednesday for. I never meant to end up at a club this big so quickly, but I guess I'm a victim of my own success in that sense.

[quote name='rancer890']Good luck in the Championship. :thup:[/QUOTE]

Thank you. I fancy us to do well.

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[center][IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedLogoSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[size=+2][B]Season 2013/2014[/B][/size]
[B]SEASON REVIEW[/B][/center]


[B][U]Final League Table[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/FinalLeagueTable-TopHalfSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/FinalLeagueTable-BottomHalfSnip.jpg[/IMG]


The Sheffield Wednesday job was the right one at the right time for me. With my reputation set as "professional footballer" and my unexpected success with Gold Coast Utd, I was probably just what they needed after a succession of older managers failed to get them out of League One. Milan Mandaric gave me a sizeable wage budget and £2m to spend, which is a monstrous budget in League One. The nucleus of a good squad was already in place and I was free to augment it with some good signings. In the end, I feel the success I've had this season is less of a surprise than what happened in Australia. Gold Coast far exceeded my expectations. I always believed I could get Sheffield Wednesday up, which is why I only wanted a one-year contract last summer. If I failed, I didn't deserve to stay. The Johnstone's Paint Trophy success was a nice little bonus, but I can't pretend it exceeds any expectations I had. I would say that, overall, we've done very well, but it helps that the league was so mediocre. But to win the league by 19 points and bring home a cup is still worth celebrating. And let's not forget we made the FA Cup 4th Round, knocking out Premier League Fulham on the way.


[B][U]Player of the Season[/U][/B]

Despite how well we did, some players really disappointed me. On the other hand, several, most notably the three below, did really well and deserve recognition.

3. [URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/MichaelTongeSnip.jpg]Michael Tonge[/URL]

This was Tonge's second season with the club. He was a modest bit-part player last season and his career was in danger of fading out. But he found his best form under my management and was an immovable object in my midfield.

2. [URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/MarkBeeversSnip.jpg]Mark Beevers[/URL]

The centre-back is 24 and has been with the Owls for his whole career so far. He's easily Championship quality and had a fantastic season. Reminds me of what Ante Rozic did for my Gold Coast team.

[B]1. [URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/JeffHughesSnip.jpg]Jeff Hughes[/URL][/B]

When I came into the club, I saw Hughes as little more than useful backup. I thought George Boyd would make the left midfield position his own. But Boyd blew hot and cold all season and, in the end, found himself on the bench more often than not, thanks to the brilliance of Jeff Hughes. The former Notts County man could be relied upon to produce when needed, scoring several really important goals. Despite a lack of pace, he seemed better than any of my other wide man at getting away from his man and reaching the byeline. Hughes was brilliant and fully deserves a shot at the Championship.


[B][U]Favourite Match[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsFulhamSnip-1.jpg[/IMG]

I could have gone for any number of league games or the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final. But to ease past a team from two leagues above you in the FA Cup is really special and this has to be the match I enjoyed the most. We took Fulham apart and this game will live with me well into my future as a manager. Everything came together and things just went right for us.


[B][U]So why so good... yet again?[/U][/B]

Much easier to understand than it was with Gold Coast. I don't think I'm a managerial genius. I think I just got a number of things right at Gold Coast, and now I'm managing a big club with good players and beefy budgets. League One, which was really poor this season, wasn't really a challenge. We made an iffy start but pretty much steamrollered the division in the end. I would put it down to good foundations being in place and having good money to spend.

[B][U]Thoughts on next season[/U][/B]

We would be doing ourselves a disservice if we focused solely on survival. We're Sheffield Wednesday and we need to be competitive in the Championship. My preliminary thinking is that I need to aim for mid-table. Player turnover will be modest this summer. Some players have earned a shot at the tier above, while several are not having their contracts renewed. I'm also looking to sell Reda Johnson, who underperformed and isn't Championship quality, and Gary Madine, with whom I have completely fallen out. He probably isn't Championship quality either. It won't be easy, but the hard work starts right now and if I do the right things, we can enjoy our first season back in the second tier.

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[Code]-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Season | Team | League | Country | League Position | Notes |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 2011/12 | Gold Coast Utd | Hyundai A-League | Australia | 2nd (R.S.) | Won Finals Series |
| 2012/13 | Gold Coast Utd | Hyundai A-League | Australia | 1st (R.S.) | Lost in Grand Final |
| | | | | | 4th in Champions League Group |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 2013/14 | Sheff Wed | npower League One | England | 1st (Promoted) | Won Johnstone's Paint Trophy |[/Code]

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[B][U][size=+2]Former Clubs Watch[/size][/U][/B]


[B][U][i]Gold Coast Utd[/i][/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/GoldCoastLogoSnip.jpg[/IMG]


[Code]----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Season | Team | League | Country | League Position | Notes |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 2013/14 | Gold Coast Utd | Hyundai A-League | Australia | 8th | 4th in Champions League Group |[/code]


[B][U]Final League Table - 2013/14[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/A-League-FinalTable-1.jpg[/IMG]

[B][U]Asian Champions League: Group H - 2013/14[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/AsianChampionsLeague-GroupHSnip.jpg[/IMG]


A terribly disappointing season for Gold Coast, then. I can see where it wrong for them, though. Firstly, they lost me. Whilst I don't wish to sound arrogant, I knew exactly what I was doing there. The new manager took a scattergun approach to transfers and disrupting everything good about the squad. But they couldn't help the fact I chose to move on. Secondly, they lost Michael Thwaite. This would have happened even if I stayed. I rated Thwaite very highly (he would have signed for Wednesday if he could have gotten a work permit) but he was demanding a "Marquee Player" contract and I felt this would hold me back from bringing in a real quality player. Thwaite was very good but he's a right-back and it feels like a waste of a Marquee Player. Thirdly, they lost Matt McKay. I loaned McKay from Rangers last season. He was brilliant and I agreed to bring him in permanently on a Marquee contract before I left. But the new manager then brought in his own Marquee signing before McKay's scheduled arrival, which meant that when it was time for the deal to go ahead, it fell through. That was a massive loss to them. Finally, the new manager ripped a successful team apart for no reason. he immediately transfer listed David Healy despite his goals last season and then let him join me on a season-long loan. He sidelined others and replaced them with really poor signings.

I'm gutted that Gold Coast have fallen back so suddenly and blame the new manager almost entirely. At least they picked up their first ever points in the Champions League, though.

I also can't believe Melbourne Victory finished bottom!

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Brilliant in league one, not had my PC for a while so haven't been able to read this thread. At times the A-League seems very random once it is all AI controlled, Wellington Phoenix finished top one season then bottom the next on my FM11 save.

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Congrats on the league title and promotion! Shame to see Gold Coast crumble...

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[quote name='AcidBurn']Brilliant in league one, not had my PC for a while so haven't been able to read this thread. At times the A-League seems very random once it is all AI controlled, Wellington Phoenix finished top one season then bottom the next on my FM11 save.[/QUOTE]

[quote name='cerud']Congrats on the league title and promotion! Shame to see Gold Coast crumble...[/QUOTE]

Thanks guys.

As for Gold Coast, it's the usual story really. You hand over to the AI manager and, regardless of how well you did, he changes everything. From big things like altering the squad to little things like randomly changing everyone's squad number, they go crazy. In this case, it wasn't all the new manager's fault, but still, he didn't impress me. I'm gutted that they've become uncompetitive so quickly.

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[center][IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedLogoSnip.jpg[/IMG]
[size=+2][B]Season 2014/2015[/B][/size]
[B]PRE-SEASON[/B][/center]

The summer has required me to think quite hard about the squad and where we go, really. I have to prepare myself for how much harder things are going to be because I've become used to winning. We won't have it all our own way in the Championship. It was quite a busy summer in terms of the transfer market. The bulk of the squad is retained, but there was question of replacing loanees and also which players wouldn't have their contracts renewed. And then there was a decision to be made about Gary Madine. I've been busy!


[B][U]Transfers[/U][/B]

[IMG]http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/TransfersSnip-1.jpg[/IMG]

[B]Players Out:[/B] As you can see, I've been able to send a good chunk of my young players out on loan. Most notable are what I like to call the "Bohemians Three", these being the three young players, [B]Simon White[/B], [B]Peirce O'Brien[/B] and [B]Peter Lennon[/B], who arrived from the Irish club in January. They all go out on loan for the season. But more importantly, it looks as if [B]Gary Madine[/B] has played his last game for the club. Our relationship can't be repaired and I'm not wholly convinced he is good enough for the Championship, anyway. But if he is good enough, he has the chance to prove it as he's joined Nottingham Forest on loan for the season. His no.9 has been allocated to one of my new signings and his contract expires next summer, so Madine is surely on his way out. The previous club captain, [B]Reda Johnson[/B], joins newly-promoted League One outfit Luton Town, who are rising back up the divisions. [B]Leon Panikvar[/B] has joined Cardiff City, who have just dropped into League One. Fringe player [B]Chris Lines[/B] is about to sign a contract with Doncaster Rovers, while [B]Liam Palmer[/B] joins Hibernian. Neither player did enough to convince me last season.

[B]Players In:[/B] First and foremost, my strikeforce has been revamped. Chris O'Grady stays, but will have competition from [B]Simon Church[/B], who signs for free from Reading having scored 66 goals in 127 league games in the last three Championship seasons, and [B]Sam Vokes[/B] who signs on loan for the season from Wolves. Both players are proven Championship goalscorers who should make us very dangerous at the sharp end of the pitch. I've also brought [B]Nile Ranger[/B] back in on loan after his blistering cameo last season, although he may find starts hard to come by. [B]Chris Eagles[/B] signs permanently, and for free. He did okay last season and I just feel we will need him this season. [B]Ryan Tunnicliffe[/B] is back on loan from Man Utd, this time for six months instead of a season, just to provide an option in midfield if we need one. I've taken advantage of Portsmouth's dire straits by bringing in two of their players. [B]Greg Halford[/B] is an experienced defender who can play at right-back or centre-back, as well as in midfield and will certainly be a better option than Reda Johnson in the Championship. [B]Adam Webster[/B] is still only 19 but has played many games for Pompey due to the small size of the squad. He looks to have real potential. With the loss of Panikvar, I've brought in a new left-back in the shape of [B]Graeme Shinnie[/B] from Inverness CT. Still only 22, he's been playing for a Caley side that competes in the SPL's top four and he looks very talented. More so than Panikvar. Finally, [B]Andreas Laudrup[/B] is an unknown quantity. I felt I needed another wide option and his agent offered him to me following the expiry of his FC Nordsjaelland contract. He's a left-winger who can play on the right and, incase you're wondering, he is related to the more famous Laudrups, Michael and Brian.


[B][U]Pre-Season Results[/U][/B]

[B][i]Scotland Tour[/i][/B]
[URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/HamiltonvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Hamilton Academical 0-4 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL]
[URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/PartickvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Partick Thistle 0-4 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL]
[URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/DunfermlinevsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Dunfermline Athletic 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL]
[URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/InvernessCTvsSheffWedSnip.jpg]Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL]

[B][i]Others[/i][/B]
[URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/StockportvsSheffWedSnip-1.jpg]Stockport County 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL]
[URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsShamrockSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Shamrock Rovers[/URL]
[URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/NewportvsSheffWed.jpg]Newport County 0-3 Sheffield Wednesday[/URL]
[URL=http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy259/MichaelSevenOhSevenSeven/SheffWedvsBrightonSnip.jpg]Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion[/URL]

Can't complain about the way pre-season went. We conceded just one goal, and that was to an established Championship side. We easily dispatched with a host of teams I fully expect us to be beating. The new signings all did reasonably well, with Vokes and Church both looking very dangerous up top. The intention is always to do enough to get morale as high as possible, and we've done that. We also managed to look nice and competitive against the kind of team in Brighton that we will be coming up against regularly this season.


[B]Aims and Expectations:[/B] Once more, I was given plenty of money to spend. My initial budget was £3m and, with a good chunk of that spent, I was then given another £1.5m to spend. Mandaric clearly happy to back me. The board have set me the aim of a safe, midtable finish. I look at the squad, especially the strike force, and I feel that this has to be achievable. My personal aim to finish somewhere between 7th and 12th. That would be a successful season and would give us something to build on for the following season. Anything lower than 15th would be failure, regardless of the fact we're newly-promoted. I'm not too worried about the League Cup, but I'd like to see us make at least the 4th Round of the FA Cup, though I'd have to revise this if our draw in the 3rd Round was especially tough.

[B]Key Players:[/B]

[B][i]Simon Church:[/i][/B] The Welsh forward has been lethal for Reading over the past three seasons in this very division and I can't believe they let his contract expire. A terrible decision by the Royals. I'm looking to get something similar out of Church to what they've seen and, if we do, it should be a good season.

[B][i]Sam Vokes:[/i][/B] Still only 24, Vokes hasn't been able to get a foothold in a Wolves side well and truly entrenched in the Premier League. But he knows the Championship and I'm looking for him to form a really strong partnership with Church.

[B][i]Mark Beevers:[/i][/B] It's a big season for Beevers. He's proven himself a masterful defender in League One, but he needs to make the step up now. I'm glad his chance to do so will be with us. I rate him very highly and it's going to be key to our season that he repays that faith.

[B][i]Sammy Clingan:[/i][/B] The experienced Clingan is a calming presence in midfield. He's played many games in the Championship so knows the division. Hopefully he will be the anchor in the middle of the park that I need him to be and expect him to be.


So, I guess it's time to find out if I've done the right things this summer. A tough season lies ahead, but I see no reason not to look forward to it. I really want to be the manager that finally gets Sheffield Wednesday back on an even keel in English football's second tier.

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