Sheffield Wednesday will hope that they can put together a positive sequence of results and fast to get out of the mess they’re currently swamped in, the Owls rooted to the bottom of the Championship on six points with Huddersfield Town on 15 points a place above the relegation spots in 21st.
Danny Rohl was meant to be the breath of fresh air that kickstarted a meaningful run of wins to get Wednesday up and running in the league, but the new German manager at Hillsborough has only managed to steer his side to one win from his opening five games to further pile on the misery in south Yorkshire.
You’d hope that certain players within the downbeat Owls group would want to turn around their fortunes to instil some pride back into proceedings, on top of the fact the majority of them are currently fighting it out for their long-term futures at the club.
Here are five players fighting for their respective careers currently at Hillsborough under their new 34-year-old boss…
The penny has to have dropped for Wilks by now looking at how his time with Wednesday has gone over the past few seasons, consistent injury issues leaving him out of many first-team squads over his disappointing two years at Hillsborough but his lack of quality when fit has also seen managers before Rohl decide not to pick him anyway.
Wilks has mustered up a pitiful two goals from 28 appearances for the Owls in a move that now feels ill-fated from Hull City, the Leeds-born attacker playing at the peak of his powers with the Tigers with 30 goals from 91 appearances.
Rohl has given Wilks opportunities since coming into the building, but the 24-year-old continues to underperform for Wednesday.
He has averaged a dire 6.23 Sofascore rating from his fleeting appearances in an Owls shirt this season, his display as a substitute away at Watford recently in league action saw him attempt zero shots on goal from a 25-minute spell on the pitch alongside losing six of his seven ground duels at Vicarage Road as per Sofascore.
Wilks could be moved on soon from Yorkshire, with Rohl’s patience presumably already growing thin when it comes to his misfiring number seven.
Frozen out of the team much like Wilks under ex-boss Xisco Munoz, Marvin Johnson has been reintroduced into the first-team set-up under Rohl’s management and will want to fight for his spot and make it his own again after being ostracised.
Wednesday’s number 18 was key last season to the Owls winning promotion to the Championship, always a creative outlet for his team to rely on from down the left wing – finishing the normal campaign with ten assists to his name, and then adding a further assist to his impressive tally in the famed playoff semi-final clash against Peterborough United at Hillsborough.
Lacking confidence at this point in time – and sharpness by being out of the first-team picture for so long – Rohl will hope Johnson’s effectiveness in swarming forward down the channels in League One can reappear in the now for Wednesday.
He has to plenty to work on however if his Millwall performance recently is anything to go off of, inaccurate with all eight of his crosses versus the Lions as per Sofascore.
Joining on loan from Watford this summer, Ashley Fletcher is yet to really get going in an Owls strip this season since relocating to Sheffield.
Not helped by his side’s clear lack of creativity and incisiveness in other positions, Fletcher is still without a Wednesday goal from 13 appearances.
The 28-year-old has only averaged 29 minutes of action per 90 minutes this season according to Sofascore, but if he was showing glimpses of brilliance in these cameos, he would play himself into the first eleven as a result.
Instead, he finds himself on the periphery with the Owls away from Watford in a loan deal that isn’t really benefitting anyone.
Substituted off at half-time in the 4-0 Millwall loss last time out, the 6 foot 1 attacker couldn’t even muster up a single shot to test the opposing goalkeeper before being hauled off by Rohl.
Fletcher will continue to fight for a spot in his current manager’s first-team plans, but it could be a case of Wednesday cancelling this loan deal come January if he remains as toothless as he has been over the weeks to come.
Now 35 years of age, Gregory was seeing out his career at Sheffield Wednesday in fine form when you cast an eye over last season’s statistics for the veteran forward.
Gregory managed 11 goals up top for the Owls under Darren Moore, the ageing attacker combining with strike partner Michael Smith to devastating effect in the third tier.
Now, however, the former Stoke City man is enduring a barren goalscoring spell in the division above.
Scoring on the opening day versus Southampton to open Wednesday’s account in the league, the Sheffield-born striker hasn’t found the back of the net since to the dismay of the Owls masses who once viewed Gregory as a reliable source of important strikes.
The weeks leading up to January could be make or break for Gregory, with the very real possibility of the 35-year-old being phased out of the first team completely creeping up on the experienced figure if he isn’t careful.
A part of the furniture at Hillsborough in a similar way to Gregory – the 32-year-old a dedicated servant to Wednesday with 407 appearances notched up since joining in 2010 – Palmer has also struggled with the ferocity of the Championship when playing this season for the beleaguered Owls.
His displays prior to being dropped didn’t exactly inspire confidence that Palmer was the right man to continue starting at right-back, an 11-minute spell against Sunderland in mid-October saw the Scotsman lose possession a remarkable six times as per Sofascore.
Palmer will hope that he can come good again, loved by the Wednesday masses when on song for his passion and ability on the ball.