Carvalhal relieved as Owls end winless run
STEVEN FLETCHER ended Sheffield Wednesday’s winless run by sealing this victory at Fulham.
Fletcher pounced in the 64th minute to settle a poor match in which Fulham, who have yet to break their league duck, looked a pale imitation of the side that marched to last season’s play-offs.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side scored plenty of goals last time, but, after dominating the first half, looked devoid of ideas and ran out of gas.
Both of these sides reached last season’s semi-finals, but had been showing signs of a hangover following their defeats.
Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal was relieved to get their Championships season up and running, and said: “I was very calm even when we were not winning games. There’s expectations and pressure here, but I believe we will achieve our results.
“We had played well before this in our other games and hadn’t won, so didn’t need to change anything. I have always slept well. There was no panic.
“Results are important and this win makes us happy, but I always believed we would achieve a victory playing the way we were.
“It was good to get a win against one of the strongest teams in the league and away from home in their stadium.
“Sometimes we don’t play better than our opponents and didn’t win. We have in our last games. Here we might not have been for periods, but we are happy to win.
“We corrected some things at half-time. We pushed further forward and pressed them higher up the pitch. It was crucial to change.”
Fulham dominated the first half, but Sone Aluko was guilty of missing two chances.
Ryan Sessegnon continued the trend after the break before striker Fletcher met Adam Reach’s cross to fire the Owls to a win in a poor game between two of last season’s defeated play-off semi finalists.
Jokanovic is refusing to press the panic button.
He said: “Our lack of goals is a worry. It was the same story that we have had before.
“We were the better team, but we couldn’t put it in the net. We couldn’t get the quality opportunities.
“I believed we created more chances than Sheffield Wednes- day, but they scored and we didn’t. I felt we deserved more than no points.
“We play against one of the top Championship teams who have been two or three years together.
“We have to keep going and improve with each game. We are missing a little bit of speed with the ball.
“We played against an experi- enced team who knew how to defend once they scored the goal.” Fulham: Button, Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Odoi, Cairney, McDonald (Kamara 75), Johansen (Norwood 62), Aluko (Kebano 62), Rui Fonte, Ryan Sessegnon. Unused substitutes: Ojo, Bettinelli, Djalo, Cisse. Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Hunt, Lees, Pudil,Fox, Boyd (Palmer 90), Jones, Bannan, Reach, Hooper (Forestieri 81), Fletcher (Nuhiu 90). Unused substitutes: Rhodes, Wildsmith, Wallace, Abdi. Referee: S Attwell (Warwickshire).
VICTORY: Sheffield Wednesday’s Steven Fletcher celebrates his winner with Barry Bannan.