Swansea City 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1 - Rhian Brewster the type of player the Owls need next season

Jordan Rhodes, a second-half substituteJordan Rhodes, a second-half substitute
Jordan Rhodes, a second-half substitute
How Garry Monk must wish he had a loan player like Rhian Brewster in his Sheffield Wednesday team.

The Owls dominated the opening 45 minutes at Swansea City, but lacked quality in front of goal as chances were spurned by their own loan contingent in Jacob Murphy and Alessio Da Cruz.

But the first real chance Swansea created, on 52 minutes, and up popped 20-year-old Brewster - who has banged in seven goals since arriving from Liverpool on loan in January - to break the deadlock.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It showed how valuable loan signings are in the Championship - particularly from the top-six contenders in the Premier League - and where Monk and Wednesday must focus in the summer.

Having already ditched big-earners Steven Fletcher, Fernando Forestieri, Sam Winnall and Sam Hutchinson - and the likelihood of more to follow them out of the exit doors later this month - the Owls will need to rebuild in the summer.

With Monk likely to have a reduced budget, the value of loan players will be vital to Wednesday’s ambitions next season.

Of Wednesday’s quartet of loan signings, Josh Windass - from Championship side Wigan - is injured, while Parma’s Da Cruz has rarely featured.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Jacob Murphy and Connor Wickham - on temporary deals from Newcastle United and Crystal Palace respectively - have shown their quality in flashes.

But Wednesday need players who can change games, and at Swansea, they had no-one in their ranks who could make a difference.

Murphy twice had good chances to open the scoring in the opening 15 minutes.

Both wing-backs combined for the Owls’ opening chance, Adam Reach’s cross finding Murphy unmarked six yards out. But the on-loan Newcastle United winger ballooned his shot over the crossbar.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Moments later, Murphy again found himself with time to control the ball, but his shot was comfortable for Swans goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

Dominic Iorfa headed wide from a corner, while Da Cruz saw his goal-bound shot blocked by defender Marc Guehi - another quality loan player in Swansea’s ranks, the rookie centre-half from Chelsea.

Only Leeds United and Brentford had scored more away goals this season, with 33, as the Owls looked to add to their tally of 32 goals in 20 Championship games.

Just before half-time, the Owls spurned another great chance. Barry Bannan’s curling cross from the left, picked out Dutchman Da Cruz, but the on-loan forward headed over from six hards out.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It summed up the visitors’ opening 45 minutes. A lack of cutting edge in the opposition box meant the two side went in scoreless.

Swansea failed to have a shot worthy of the name before the break, but looked threatening after the restart.

Goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith could only parry Ayew’s free-kick, and Murphy scrambled back to clear.

But the hosts went in front on 52 minutes, Connor Roberts’s cross was smashed home by Liverpool loanee Brewster.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ayew made it 2-0 from the penalty spot, after Reach pushed over Roberts, on 66 minutes.

Monk made several attacking substitutes - throwing on Jordan Rhodes, Atdhe Nuhiu and Kadeem Harris - in an attempt to salvage something from the game.

Nuhiu escaped Swansea’s defence, after a super pass from Bannan, but the giant striker pulled his shot wide of Woodman’s right-hand post.

Yet, the Owls could have snatched an unlikely draw in seven minutes of stoppage time.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nuhiu headed in Murphy’s right-wing cross, but Julian Borner was denied an equaliser as his header was gratefully collected by Woodman.

Monk said: “It’s so frustrating, we couldn’t have done any more in that first half in terms of controlling the game.

“We weren’t ruthless or clinical enough. When you’re creating those chances, you need to put the game to bed. The key then would be to make it difficult for them in the second half.

“We should have been out of sight. We left the door open for them when we should have closed it in the first half.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The players feel the same, when you’re in control it can be deflating to go behind, at that point you’re chasing the game and become stretched.

“From a coaching perspective, they are doing a lot right but when you are so dominant, you have to make that count."

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.