Sheffield Wednesday fans rewarded for patience as Danny Rohl offers hope of revolution against Blackburn Rovers

“They believe in what we are doing.”

Those were the words of Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Rohl, speaking about his players after they stylishly dispatched of promotion-chasing Blackburn Rovers.

It has been evident across the past week that his players are not the only ones buying into his methods.

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Hillsborough can be an unforgiving cauldron of hostility but since the German arrived, it has been a slightly happier place, even if results have not been anything to write home about.

Sheffield Wednesday picked up their second win of the season against Blackburn Rovers. Image: Steve EllisSheffield Wednesday picked up their second win of the season against Blackburn Rovers. Image: Steve Ellis
Sheffield Wednesday picked up their second win of the season against Blackburn Rovers. Image: Steve Ellis

Wednesday fans have given Rohl the benefit of the doubt and trusted his philosophy would begin to bear fruit.

On an icy cold South Yorkshire afternoon, an impressive 3-1 home win served as the perfect thank you.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Rohl said: “I think it was a tough opponent today, a strong opponent. We started very well, then we scored, it was also good.

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"But then you saw the quality from the opponent. They have good young players, they move the ball very quickly, a lot of good movements in the D and they played very well.

"For my team, they fight until the end. They believe in what we are doing. I'm so happy to take the points today. We scored three goals, in the past we spoke about how we can score.

"In the last two games, we've scored four goals. I think this is a good direction but this is always what I say - if we bring our xG higher and higher, then it will be a good step forward."

Placing faith in the inexperienced but undeniably exciting Bailey Cadamarteri is a risk that is paying off for Rohl.

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After proving to be a handful for Leicester City in midweek, he netted his first senior goal after just five minutes against Blackburn.

The 18-year-old defied his tender years to rifle home with the conviction of a considerably more seasoned frontman.

Speaking about the young marksman, Rohl said: “I'm convinced about him. It was the reason why I took him immediately when I saw him. I see special things from him.”

Sammie Szmodics was a talismanic figure for the visitors, who have seen their squad ravaged by injuries.

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His all-action display deserved a goal and he put Blackburn back on level terms with a header in the second-half.

However, another Rohl call helped Wednesday restore lead in the 78th minute. Marvin Johnson, previously exiled by Xisco Munoz, has been brought back into the fold by the German and registered his first goal since returning.

Under Munoz, the Owls had a tendency to hit the panic button in tense situations but the Wednesday heads were cool ones as Blackburn hunted for a leveller.

They remained compact and picked their moment to put Rovers to the sword. Josh Windass latched on to a loose ball deep in Wednesday’s own half, before driving forward and keeping his composure up against Blackburn goalkeeper Leopold Wahlstedt.

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The win was hailed as a “huge step forward” by Rohl, who was serenaded by the jubilant home faithful after the final whistle.

He said: “[There were] a lot of deep runs from the opponent, we always have to slide in the back four, and the back five. I adapted a little bit, the shape, to have a little bit more control in the last line and we did it well.

“When you look back at the Millwall game, we conceded a goal and there was not this energy in the group. Now, you see we improved this.

"Mentally, it's important we keep our match plan, we stay in our match plan. Everybody knows what we have to do. Again, you saw a team, and you saw players, they come on from the bench and they have an immediate impact.

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"This is what we need as a group. It's a long way to go but today, it was fantastic. I think the end from this week, especially after the defeat in Birmingham, now we have taken four points, I think it is a huge step forward.”

The past week has been a positive one but Wednesday still have a mountain to climb. They remain rock-bottom of the Championship, 10 points adrift of safety.

Hope was rapidly disappearing in S6 as the slide under Munoz steepened but it was back in the air after their second win of the season.

It is too early for talk of a Rohl revolution but the Owls certainly offered hope it is possible.

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Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Iorfa (Palmer 4), Diaby, Bernard, Famewo (Ihiekwe 77); Paterson, Vaulks, Byers (Johnson 45), Bannan (Hendrick 88), Windass; Cadamarter (Musaba 77)i.

Unused substitutes: Vasquez, James, Fletcher, Gassama.

Blackburn Rovers: Wahlstedt, Hill, Carter, S. Wharton, Pickering; A.Wharton, Tronstad; Moran, Szmodics, Brittain; Leonard (Telalovic 79).

Unused substitutes: Hilton, Gamble, Atcheson, Duru, Garrett, Montgomery, Markanday, Bloxham.

Referee: David Webb (Lancashire)