After suffering three successive league defeats in the past two weeks - and with the club stated to have gone perilously close to administration during this time to compound matters - there has been little for Sheffield Wednesday fans to cheer of late.
The poor run of form has seen the Owls slip from top spot to 11th place in the League One table as back to back 1-0 defeats to Brentford and Carlisle were followed up by last weekend’s 3-2 reverse at Plymouth Argyle as the home side saw off Wednesday’s challenge despite playing the whole of the second half with only ten men.
It is hard for supporters to take any positives after losing in this manner to a team that had not previously won a home match since March, a run of eight matches but aspect of the Home Park setback that may offer a ray of hope for forthcoming games was the impact made by Tommy Miller.
Miller moved to Hillsborough in the summer of 2009 in the hope that he would add creativity and a goal threat to the Wednesday midfield but he suffered from long spells on the sidelines with injuries and made just ten league starts in his first season as the club were relegated.
Hopes of a fresh start in this campaign were dashed in pre-season as he sustained yet another injury and he is yet to make a start this term.
Saturday’s appearance from the bench was his fourth of the season and his superbly struck goal on the volley from 25 yards gave an indication of what the Owls have been missing.
Miller clearly has what it takes to be a success at League On level and his creativity and eye for goal combined with his confidence to shoot from distance could be just what the Owls have been missing in recent games.
The strikers have had to feed off scraps and the oppositions goalkeepers have not been extended nearly enough by a side with proven attacking talent during this poor spell of form so a fresh approach in midfield could shake things up.
Miller’s 30 minutes against Plymouth gave a glimpse of what he is capable of and he may have played himself into the starting line-up for Saturday’s home game against Southampton. A role on the right of midfield or in a favoured central position could provide him with the opportunity to prove his worth to the Hillsborough faithful and hopefully lead to an upturn in fortunes for the Owls.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.