Date: 17th August 2017 at 7:15am
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Wednesday frll behind early but came alive (once again) in the second half and pulled back on terms thanks to David Jones screamer before nearly earning all three points against the visitors. But how did our players play? Greg Pursehouse analysed matter from the North Stand.

Westwood: 5/10 uncharacteristically poor tonight, flapping at crosses, several goal kicks went out for throw ins, came charging out of the net for Sunderland`s goal and left the goal unattended. Did the occasion get to him? Playing against his previous employers where he was the main bench warmer, needs to be back to his usual outstanding self in order for us to get anything against Fulham. No coincidence if he has an off day the entire team do!

Hunt: 6/10 ran all night long sometimes with little productivity at the end, wants to work on his crossing this season and still remains a key focal point for him, took a knock early on and was off the pitch for too long that led to Sunderland`s goal.

Lees: 5/10 surprisingly poor from the captain tonight, missed his partner in crime in Loovens and felt the added pressure of having a left back play at centre back, hopefully with fresh blood arriving at S6 he can quickly form a strong partnership with his new centre back partner. Sloppy passing was a key problem for the big man last night.

Pudil: 6/10 he will be the first to admit that centre back isn`t his natural position, tried valiantly to deputise for our injured skipper, some solid clearances and attacked when possible, didn`t really make any calamities but at fault as part of the defensive unit the saw us go 1-0 down in the opening stages of the match.

Reach: 6/10 a game if 2 halves for the former Middlesbrough man, as a left back he was solid, crossing in the first half required improvement but whatever Carlos said to him at half time and came out all guns blaring and delivered some tempting crosses for our forwards to aim for, began to justify his £5m+ price tag in the second half, I think he is better at left back and running on attacking than playing in midfield, a nice headache for Carlos at the weekend.

Wallace: 3/10 Wednesday`s worst player by some way, second game running he hasn`t been at the races, doesn`t seem to have the spark and character he had in previous seasons at S6, time for the bench for wee Scotsman.

David Jones: 6/10 scored a thunderbolt of a goal in the second half to get us back in the match, special moment for the lifelong Owl`s fan, if he is capable of this he needs to show it more often, didn`t have too much to offer to the team, able deputy for when Hutchinson is injured or has his usual suspension.

Bannan: 8/10 another man of the match performance for the man who is apparently better than Zidane! Absolutely bossed it in the second half and ran the show, often creating something from nothing to get the team going, needs to remain at the standard he displayed in the second half.

Abdi: 5/10 ineffective at times, needs a run in the time if we are to get the best out of the former Watford man, worrying quote from Carlos explaining that he cannot train for 2 days in a row, surely we must have known he was injury prone before we signed him?

Hooper: 7/10 this lad is a footballer, brain and skill come by the bucket load for the former Celtic striker, a threat all night long, his overall play deserved a goal as did his previous performance v QPR, we thought he had struck the jackpot from a neat flick on from Fletcher but Hooper hit the show too sweetly and off the crossbar for a goal kick, just needs a goal to get his season going.

Winnall: 7/10 another lively performance for the ex-Barnsley man, neat touches but had ran out his socks off and was replaced by Rhodes.

Fletcher: 7/10 game changer once he arrived on the pitch at half time, SWFC have played there best football when we play with a front three from: Fletcher, Rhodes, Hooper and Winnall, a certain to start V Fulham?

Rhodes: 6/10 sadly all Rhodes do not point to goals anymore, he needs one to go in off his backside to get his confidence back

Palmer: N/A came on to replace the injured Hunt with minutes to go, nice to see the academy graduate play in front of the Hillsborough faithful!

Carlos: 6/10 picked the strongest team available, changed things round at half time and all three subs made a positive impact, clearly what he said at half time worked, less than his usual suave self in the post-match interview, made a statement of intent regarding Forestieri saying he would not pick him unless he wanted a player revolt.

Team: 6/10 dull, dire and desperate first half at times, different side in the second half, dominant, dangerous and delightful to watch. Could have/ should have won the match, hopefully this will come as confidence progress and we capture that elusive first win.
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