SIX things learned from Shrewsbury Town 3 Sheffield Wednesday 2

Lewis McGugan curls in a free kick to put Wednesday ahead at Shrewsbury
Lewis McGugan curls in a free kick to put Wednesday ahead at Shrewsbury
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During a season which has delivered some brilliant highs in cup competition, Saturday's FA Cup exit at the hands of League One strugglers Shrewsbury was certainly one to forget.

But here are SIX things we learned from the match....

Lewis McGugan will impress given the chance.....

Five goals from 12 appearances is pretty impressive for a midfielder - particularly so when only half of those appearances have been starts. Lewis McGugan's part in Wednesday's season so far can only be described as a cameo, but it has been a particularly memorable one.

He was Wednesday's most dangerous player at Shrewsbury and his two goals rewarded those Wednesdayites who have long called for him to included on a more regular basis.

....but he does not fit in with the first XI

Given McGugan's stats and obvious quality, it can look somewhat baffling as to why he does not play a bigger role for Wednesday. But he showed again at Shrewsbury why he does not particularly fit in with the first team picture. McGugan will consistently drop deep in front of the back four to collect the ball and dictate the play.

He relishes this quarterback role but he is not needed in that position. In terms of first choice players, Sam Hutchinson will not only play quarterback, he takes care of the defensive side of the sitting role also. This frees the likes of Barry Bannan and Kieran Lee to concentrate on the attacking side of the game.

McGugan does not have the defensive chops to be allowed to drop deep on a regular basis which means his desire to do so is a disadvantage when it comes to his first team ambitions.

The health of the squad is improving as the run in approaches

The game saw the return to action of Marco Matias and Michael Turner, two players who are certain to be pushing for at least semi-regular game time between now and the end of the season. Both men will add options to areas where Wednesday have lacked depth in recent months, namely out wide and at the back.

Both clearly have some work to do on their overall fitness before they make further starts, something which can also be said of loanee Joe Bennett. The Aston Villa full back produced some good attacking play, particularly in the first half, but tired greatly as the game wore on, something highlighted by his lax defending out wide which allowed the cross for Shrewsbury's winner.

Though these men are not quite at the fitness levels needed, their returns to action are a big positive heading into the business end of the campaign.

The fringe men are not as ready for action as they or Carlos Carvalhal would like to think

It has often been said by Carvalhal that fringe players must be ready to perform if called upon but very few that were selected on Saturday looked anything close to ready. Putting it bluntly, most of those brought into the side did not do their hopes for more starts much good.

Wednesday operated in second gear throughout and seemed incapable of stepping their game up. Play was sloppy, lacked the usual tempo and was largely uninspiring.

It seems as though the lack of game time some of these players have had has taken its toll on their ability to perform.

Reinforcements are needed to ensure Wednesday have strength in depth to sustain their top six push

Following on from the previous point, there is an apparent lack of true quality to back up the current first choice XI as Wednesday look to maintain their promotion push over the next three months.

The players who came into the side on Saturday did not do enough to suggest otherwise. And that means Wednesday really could do with adding a couple of players before Monday's transfer deadline - and top end Championship quality players at that.

A reminder of the need to be switched on constantly is needed every now and then

Recent performances have not reached the standards Wednesday have set earlier in the season, but in result terms they have emerged largely unscathed.

The defeat to Shrewsbury should be used as an example of what can happen when Wednesday let their standards drop. Should they do so against Burnley and Birmingham this week, their play off hopes could suffer a devastating blow.

Hopefully we will be able to look upon Saturday's game as a bit of a wake-up call ahead of a tough week for Wednesday.