RESULTS may mean Sheffield Wednesday are in danger of starting slowly for a third successive season under Carlos Carvalhal but Daniel Pudil insists there has been a clear “progression in every game”.
The Owls head to Fulham for one of the Championship’s tougher away assignments with just two points from the opening three games.
Already, three clubs – Cardiff City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Ipswich Town – boast three wins apiece to leave Wednesday playing catch-up in a similar fashion to the last two campaigns.
A year ago, Carvalhal’s side took five points from their first five games while in 2015-16 the ratio was slightly lower with five points from the opening six fixtures leaving the club with plenty of ground to make up on the early pacesetters.
Wednesday are determined to avoid a repeat, meaning points are badly needed in the two remaining fixtures before the first international break. Pudil believes the Owls can do just that.
“There has been progression in every game,” the Czech Republic international told The Yorkshire Post. “The first game against Preston (a 1-0 defeat) was really bad. It was one of the worst games I have been involved in. These things can happen but it was just the one game.
“After Preston, we had a little meeting and we said there was no reason to panic as there are still a lot of games.
“I think we have done brilliant in the last two games. We haven’t got the points but, hopefully, the points will come in the next couple of games.”
Wednesday finished strongly against Sunderland in the midweek 1-1 draw with Gary Hooper striking the crossbar, moments after Jordan Rhodes and Tom Lees had missed headed opportunities from close range.
Such a strong finale means the Owls can travel south to Craven Cottage in buoyant mood. Today, though, will be tough with Fulham rightly regarded as one of the favourites to clinch promotion to the Premier League come May.
“We were the better side for 70 minutes,” said Pudil, who impressed in the unfamiliar position of central defence alongside Tom Lees. “We dominated the whole game. We just conceded a sloppy goal.
“We have to play the football that we played last season where we dominated the ball and kept it on the floor. I think we did well and tried pushing until the end of the game. We scored one goal but it was not enough.”