Andy Munro watches Blues draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
One of the reasons a talented squad like Sheffiled Wednesday have been struggling is their injury list, which typically radically shortened against the Blues with a number of returnees. So it was always going to be hard even though we started off like a train in the first half only to limp around for most of the second.
After Bela’s fortuitous corner, the Owls equalised through ex-Villa player Barry Bannan, a horrible little man but no denying his talent. The Hogan/Juke partnership put us in command again only for a rather inconsistent Sunjic to bring their player Hogan down and concede the penalty that gave Wednesday the equaliser. Mind you we should have been home and hosed at half-time with near misses from Sunjic and a Pedersen header.
Garry Monk must have read the riot act to the opposition as they came out to boss the first half hour and it wasn’t a big surprise when we were unsettled by an up and under which gave Jacob Murphy the freedom of both Bordesley and Small Heath to rifle home the opposition’s third.
Blues then proceeded to huff and puff despite making all our substitutions including Montero for a surprisingly quiet Bela, not that the mercurial winger made any difference. Yet we fashioned an equaliser and while it won’t please Chairman Dong’s tippy tappy pipe dream, Roberts’ long ball found the Juke to play in Hogan for a superlative finish. Somehow, we’ve got to try and keep Hogan, which will probably be more likely if Villa stay up – a dilemma maybe for some Bluenoses!
Still, other than that, we have good defenders and some excellent midfielders so with a couple of shrewd signings in the close season, we should have decent prospects even within a frighteningly competitive division.