Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal has fired a warning to the rest of the Sky Bet Championship that the new strike partnership of Jordan Rhodes and Sam Winnall is only going to get better.
Rhodes, a loanee from Middlesbrough who will join permanently for £10million in the summer, and £500,000-man Winnall both scored their first goals for the club in the 3-0 win over Birmingham, with Adam Reach also adding a late strike.
Both men signed in the January transfer window and on their first start together, Carvalhal is suitably encouraged.
“It’s not perfect the understanding yet but they are doing well and there are good signals,” the Portuguese said. “It’s a new dynamic that we have got to work and I believe they will get better and better.”
The 3-0 scoreline, which came courtesy of two goals in the final 10 minutes, perhaps flattered Wednesday, but Carvalhal was not overly bothered by that.
“It is important to win,” he added. “I am pleased with the clean sheet, it is 13 for the season and that is a positive.
“We scored three goals and we had more chances. 3-0 is a heavy score for Birmingham because they have also created chances in the game.
“At 1-0 we relaxed a little and that is a dangerous score. Birmingham came into the game and a few games last season we struggled in games like that. It’s a heavy scoreline for Birmingham but we deserved the win because we scored the three goals.”
Forlorn Birmingham manager Gianfranco Zola, who has won just one of 12 games in charge, knew it could have been different had his side taken one of their chances.
They hit the woodwork three times, one from a wonderful effort from distance by Craig Gardner, and also failed to make long periods of domination and possession count.
Zola said: “It is unbelievable to see a team play the way that we played lose the game like we did.
“I don’t pay too much notice to the two late goals. After their goal, I only saw one team to be honest.
“We played well, created good chances, played good football but not scored and that was the difference between the two teams. One team created three chances and they scored three, we created five or six and scored none.
“I can’t criticise them, this is one of the best games they have played since I have been at the club.
“I believe in this team and I believe in myself and I continue working because I like working for this club and I am going to give everything I have got.”