Alan Biggs: Owls start has taken heat off transfer talk

Alan Biggs
Alan Biggs

You’d like to think that only the kind of fan who posts sniping comments from under the hood of an invisibility cloak (otherwise called a pseudonym) will begrudge Michail Antonio a warm welcome back to Hillsborough this weekend. He’s a committed and talented professional who simply took a career move.

For the better is suddenly open to debate, mind you (wages apart). And the reception on the field promises to be hot! Which leads me to wonder how the temperature might have been for Milan Mandaric in circumstances other than Sheffield Wednesday’s unexpectedly fine start.

Antonio, a promotion hero and the likeliest match-winner on the Owls books, is threatening to outstrip his promising past after four goals already for Championship leaders Nottingham Forest.

Imagine having known that at the time of his surprise sale on the eve of the season! But then who could have imagined that a thin-looking Wednesday squad carrying injuries to key players would sit just two points behind in sixth place?

Certainly not me. Full credit to Stuart Gray and his players for proving us wrong, not least Atdhe Nuhiu whose brace at Middlesbrough – and penalty winner at Burnley in the Capital One Cup - rewarded the many supporters who clearly shared this column’s backing for the previously goal-shy striker.

Now, without dampening a mood buoyed still further by a first goal for £800,000 Stevie May, the challenge is to underpin it.

Mandaric will know as well as Gray that Wednesday lack cover and strength in every outfield area.

These points are an insurance against that and further signings may be required to maintain the momentum.

Meantime, enjoy. Saturday promises a cracker in which the Owls could actually go top!