Sheffield Wednesday beat Stockport County on penalties at Hillsborough Stadium on Tuesday evening, to progress past the first round of the EFL Cup.

However, it wasn’t a hugely convincing performance by Sheffield Wednesday against their League Two opponents, and manager Xisco Munoz can see plenty of room for improvement.

Munoz has only been in the job for a couple of months, and plenty of new signings have arrived in recent weeks, so a lack of cohesion can be somewhat excused at this stage. However, the Owls’ habit of conceding relatively early goals needs to be addressed quickly.

Stockport Count went ahead after 16 minutes on Tuesday. In Sheffield Wednesday’s previous game, the Championship curtain-raiser against Southampton, the Saints took the lead after 8 minutes.

On both occasions Munoz’s men were able to eventually draw level, but they did ultimately lose against Southampton. What’s more, chasing a game from early on is energy-sapping and can drain morale, as well as damage the atmosphere inside the stadium. 

Sheffield Wednesday v Southampton FC - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Sheffield Wednesday must tighten up at the back

Discussing the issue of conceding early with Sheffield Wednesday’s official website, Munoz said, “this is one of the things about our team [that] is impossible, we need to start changing these things and I try also to understand the players and I also need to understand what is important in the people coming on the bench.”

The Spanish coach will be desperate to see his side looking defensively solid from the off when they travel to Hull City on Saturday. A clean sheet will at least ensure they get their first point of the new Championship campaign on the board.

Goals may be hard to come by for Sheffield Wednesday throughout the season, but by defending diligently and becoming a side that is hard to score against will significantly boost the Yorkshire club’s chances of survival.

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