Middlesbrough v Sheffield Wednesday: Bailey Cadamarteri set for second wind as injuries bite both clubs

FOR Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and so many clubs across English football, 2023-24 feels as if it has been a season like no other when it comes to injuries.

One man's disappointment, though, is always another's opportunity and as he prepares for the two sides to meet at the Riverside on Monday, Owls manager Danny Rohl senses now could be the time for striker Bailey Cadamarteri to have a second wind in his debut season.

Still in the Championship relegation zone despite top-eight form since the start of December, the Owls believe they can save their Championship skin but know they need wins and therefore goals. Boro are in the same boat for different reasons after a creditable draw at Southampton pushed the gap to the play-off places to nine points.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was a very good Friday and a very good week for Cadamarteri, son of former Everton, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City forward Danny, having played second fiddle to Ike Ugbo since his arrival on loan from Troyes in January.

He began it by scoring a penalty on his England Under-19 debut against the USA in Morocco and, recognising the good it did him, Rohl started him against Swansea City.

Cadamarteri had only scored one goal, in the FA Cup, since his initial burst of three in four December matches, and had only started three of the last 11 Championship games. But he was in the right place at the right time to put his team 1-0 up in a game they drew 1-1 with Swansea.

Rohl thinks it could be the start of a strong end to the season from the 18-year-old.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Hopefully," he said. "When you see the international players come back they have often travelled a lot but I decided to play with Ike Ugbo a little bit more as the right 10 (inside-right) and Bailey in front.

GOOD WEEK: Bailey Cadamarteri scored against Swansea City, and against USA Under-19sGOOD WEEK: Bailey Cadamarteri scored against Swansea City, and against USA Under-19s
GOOD WEEK: Bailey Cadamarteri scored against Swansea City, and against USA Under-19s

"We have to keep going and going. I know I say this a lot but I believe and we believe we will do it.

"My message to the players after Friday's game was that we take the point, we're a point closer to the line. We can't be thinking we could have taken three. If we start a game as well as we did on Friday there's still a minimum of a point available but we want to win.

"You can see our improvement. Our points average since I arrived is 1.3 (1.8 since December) and if we carry on like this, this is not the average of a team bottom of the league (13th-placed Bristol City average 1.3 points per game).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
SEASON OVER: Middlesbrough's Riley McGreeSEASON OVER: Middlesbrough's Riley McGree
SEASON OVER: Middlesbrough's Riley McGree

"We have seven chances to take the points we need. We come closer and closer and keep going.

"I never go into a game looking for a point at first, we go to win."

To do that, they must sharpen up on details. They could and did point to bad luck and bad refereeing to explain their failure to beat the Swans but the space given to Harry Darling and scorer Jamal Lowe at a 76th-minute corner was their undoing.

"We were not man-marking and the man was free," said Rohl. "These small thing decide games but the (overall) picture was right.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
INJURY ISSUES: Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny RohlINJURY ISSUES: Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Rohl
INJURY ISSUES: Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Rohl

"My players always try to be focused but if you miss a chance, maybe you get a second one, if you make a mistake in your own box, maybe you concede a goal. This is hard."

Boro found out during the international break that forwards Marcus Forss and Riley McGree's seasons have been ended by injury.

"It's a big blow for both of them," said manager Michael Carrick. "They've had a big impact since I've been here when they've been available. It's another to add to the list.

"It's been incredible. I know a lot of teams have had injuries and I understand that but it's been a revolving door. It's not the fault of the players at all and it's been crazy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We haven't been able to get a consistent team but the boys have adapted unbelievably well and keep finding a way. When you go through that it shows what you're all about."

Paddy McNair missed out at St Mary's with a hamstring injury picked up on Northern Ireland duty and Rav ven den Berg withdrew late – albeit not as late as Wednesday's Di'Shon Bernard, who felt a muscle problem in Friday's warm-up.

Iasaiah Jones came off injured for Boro on the south coast.

"Me, Woody (Jonathan Woodgate) and Grant (Leadbitter) were thinking about putting the boots back on at one stage!" joked Carrick.

"I know a lot of teams have had injuries, but we’ve been decimated at times this season and yet the boys have coped ever so well. It’s hard for the boys to have to keep chopping and changing every week. They’ve been unbelievable in terms of trying to do the right things, though.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We’ll have to recover well and see who’s available. Friday to Monday is normal and it's no big deal. We're used to playing Saturday-Tuesday.”

Leeds United loanee Ian Poveda missed Friday's Owls game with the injury which stopped him representing Colombia, but Barry Bannan was fit enough for the bench.

"For Barry hopefully it was helpful to get 20 minutes to get a bit of rhythm and trust in his body," said Rohl.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.