Sheffield Wednesday: Owls aim to avoid record

This header by Atdhe Nuhiu was cleared off the line by the Doncaster defence
This header by Atdhe Nuhiu was cleared off the line by the Doncaster defence

If Wednesday cannot win on Saturday at the 11th attempt then they will set an unwanted record.

It will be the longest that the club have ever gone from the start of a season without a league victory.

They have equalled the current record of 10 games, which was set by the 1977-78 side in the old Third Division and resulted in the sacking of Len Ashurst. With Jack Charlton in the stand as a prelude to taking over, the Owls won their 11th league game of that season - 1-0 at home to Chesterfield with a goal by Tommy Tynan.

Saturday’s trip to Bolton arguably presents a stiffer test for Dave Jones’ side.

But the current Wednesday boss and his players take encouragement from the fact that many of the games this season have been close; there have been six draws and the lead was held in five of the 10 games.

Jones says: “We just have to dig in and keep going. A couple of results, and we could be halfway up the league.” The Owls boss knows all about revivals after the team’s dramatic improvement in form in the second half of last season.

Charlton led the club from bottom. the position when he took over, to 14th, at the end of the season, though it was not all plain sailing after that breakthrough win against Chesterfield. Bolton will match Wednesday’s optismism after their own record-equalling start to this season.

They went 10 league games without a win, like their 1902 team, before beating Birmingham in the 11th outing, 2-1 away a week last Saturday while Wednesday drew 1-1 with Ipswich.

The Owls’ run does not make it their worst start in terms of points.

For example in 1999 in the Premier League they took only six points from the first 17 games, and the following year, after relegation, it was five from the first 12 matches.