Brentford v Sheffield Wednesday: New Owls style a work in progress as transfer ban is lifted

Tom Lees: Plenty of work ahead.
Tom Lees: Plenty of work ahead.
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TOM LEES admits Sheffield Wednesday still have “quite a bit of work to do” in their attempts to implement a new style of play in the Championship.

The Owls – who saw the transfer embargo they have been operating under since April lifted last night – head to Brentford tomorrow buoyed by a first victory of the season, Sunderland having been beaten in the Carabao Cup first round.

Wednesday ran out convincing winners, in the end, but the change of emphasis that has seen the team try to play out from the back more this term continued to suffer teething troubles in the first half.

“We still look like there is quite a bit of work to do,” Lees, the club’s captain, told The Yorkshire Post. “I felt we made hard work of it, at times. But we take the clean sheet and two goals.

“We did okay and looked really good at times. But I also felt there were times when we looked a bit sloppy. Definitely stuff to work on. With changing the way we have been asked to play, some people are doing things that they are not comfortable doing. It is about nailing down how we want to play – and that style, and format of play. Getting that nailed down is the thing.

“We felt to be quite open in the first half. We need to get that side of the game nailed down a bit more.”

It will be good, though I am not sure if a bit too late. It is just positive that the club is not getting punished any more. Hopefully, that means they are rectifying things.

Tom Lees

Pressed further on what needs to improve, Lees added: “The organisation is the big thing. Making sure everyone knows their role. A lot is made about what you do with the ball.

“It will be obvious to anyone watching that is what we are trying to do. But it is important not to forget what to do when we don’t have the ball. We have to remind ourselves. I do think we are finding out in the first halves of games what suits us and what doesn’t.

“If you look at the games so far, we have done better in the second half. That is because we are figuring things out.”

Against a Brentford side who smashed five goals past Rotherham United in their only home outing, a slow start could prove costly. Lees, though, believes there is one advantage for the Yorkshire side.

“They are a team who pull you out of position into places you don’t want to go,” he said.

“Then, they have runners coming from deep and wide. But it doesn’t help that they have such a tight pitch. It doesn’t suit the way they play.”

Wednesday are no longer operating under a transfer embargo after the EFL lifted the sanction last night.

Wednesday had not been able to make one signing during the summer transfer window, which closed for permanent signings on August 9, after breaching rules regarding profitability and sustainability regulations.

But the lifting of the embargo means the Owls can now sign players on loan before the transfer deadline of August 31, and offer new contracts to players.

A club statement read: “Sheffield Wednesday are pleased to inform supporters that the current transfer embargo imposed by the EFL has been lifted with immediate effect.

“The club has worked diligently alongside the EFL in a bid to ensure compliance with Profitability and Sustainability regulations.

“We would like to place on record our thanks to the EFL Executive for the support and guidance given to Sheffield Wednesday surrounding this issue.

“We would also like to thank our loyal fans for their continued support as we move forward together on and off the pitch.”

Lees added: “It will be good, though I am not sure if a bit too late. It is just positive that the club is not getting punished any more. Hopefully, that means they are rectifying things.

“For us, it doesn’t make too much difference. But it is a sign that hopefully things are getting sorted out.

“Maybe we can get a couple of loan players in. You have seen over recent years that one or two loan players come down into the Championship and then do so well they go back to their parent clubs having done so well they start to play a part.

“Some always catch the eye so, hopefully, we can get one of them.”