Sheffield Wednesday have had a troubled season, which reached a tipping point on Sunday when manager Carlos Carvalhal left the club by mutual consent after two-and-a-half years in charge.
He left with the Owls 15th in the table after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, having taken them to the play-offs in each of his two full seasons in charge.
In 2016, they lost to Hull in the final and last term were beaten by Huddersfield in the semi-finals.
Carvalhal told Wednesday’s website: “I am very sad now at this moment because I have enjoyed my two seasons and a half so much with Sheffield Wednesday.
“We had two fantastic seasons and two play-offs on the row but unfortunately we have not managed to replicate these positions this season.”
Wednesday failed to win any of Carvalhal’s last seven games in charge and were 11 points adrift of the play-off places.
Chairman Dejphon Chansiri said: “Both parties believe the time is right to go our separate ways.
“I maintain a huge amount of respect for Carlos as a coach and as a person and he will always be welcome at Hillsborough.”
The Owls made a reasonable start to the season and moved into the play-off zone after beating us 2-1 in early September – their third win in seven matches.
But they only won three of their next 13 games and that run is what appears to have cost Carvalhal his job.
Of their six victories this season before his departure, two came on the road – at Fulham (1-0) and Aston Villa (2-1) – while there had been four at Hillsborough, over us and also Nottingham Forest (3-1), Leeds (3-0) and Millwall (2-1).
They drew four other away games and lost five while they only found the net nine times in their 11 away games.
However, as so often happens, in the Owls’ first game after Carvalhal’s departure, they romped to a 3-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.
Wednesday are in their sixth consecutive season in the Championship and 11th in the past 13 years – with a two-year spell in League One in-between.
They were a founder member of the Premier League but have not played in the top flight since the 1999/2000 season.
WHO’S IN CHARGE
Caretaker boss Lee Bullen became Carlos Carvalhal’s assistant in October 2015, four years after becoming a youth coach at Hillsborough.
The former Wednesday player, who played nearly 150 games for the club in a four-year spell in the middle of the last decade, also represented, among others, Dunfermline and Falkirk and played in both defence and up front during his career.
He also had spells playing in Australia, Hong Kong and Greece.
LAST THREE MEETINGS
Brentford were denied a third home win of the season in Sheffield Wednesday’s previous visit last August, when the visitors scored a dramatic late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw.
Lasse Vibe gave the Bees lead in the 55th minute – not that he knew too much about it as goalkeeper Kieren Westwood’s clearance rebounded off the striker, who was perfectly positioned, and into the net.
Wednesday’s David Jones was sent off for his second booking in the 73rd minute and Vibe followed him down the tunnel for the same reason 15 minutes later, before Sam Hutchinson headed home a free-kick in the third minute of stoppage time to equalise for the visitors.
John Egan and Harlee Dean scored in the first half to set up a 2-1 win for the Bees at Hillsborough in February.
Egan headed in a Ryan Woods’ free-kick and Dean headed home a Jota corner and although Fernando Forestieri replied in second half stoppage time, Brentford held on for our first win in four matches.
Sheffield Wednesday avenged last season’s defeat when they came from behind to beat us 2-1 at Hillsborough in September.
Nico Yennaris gave us an early lead when his shot deceived Owls keeper Kieren Westwood, but Gary Hooper equalised on the stroke of half-time and Ross Wallace won it in the 70th minute to leave us second bottom of the table after seven matches.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game, Wednesday caretaker boss Lee Bullen told his club’s website: “Brentford will be a very, very tough game.
“They are a tough nut to crack down there and we know we are going to be up against it.”
Wednesday have injury doubts over central defender Joost van Aken (hamstring) and striker Gary Hooper (groin) for Saturday’s game after both came off injured at Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.
Goalkeeper Kieren Westwood, midfielders George Boyd and Kieran Lee and striker Fernando Forestieri are definitely out and midfielder Barry Bannan may not be quite ready to return from an injury lay-off.
One man who should be involved, however, is ex-Bee Jordan Rhodes, who has featured in 21 of the Owls’ 24 Championship games – with 12 of those appearances from the bench – scoring four goals.
Wednesday’s line-up at Forest:
Palmer Loovens van Aken Fox
PUBS IN BRENTFORD
For Wednesday fans coming to the game, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match and all are most welcoming and away-fan-friendly (as it should be).
We are now back to the traditional four pubs around the ground, following the reopening of the Royal Oak.
The Griffin is closest to the away end (like 30 secs walk) and is very popular with away fans – but also very, very busy. The New Inn is on the other side and is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal and the Royal Oak are the other options.
Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) …. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is the Beesotted pre-match pub. This boozer & The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) are both incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs and about 1 min walk from each other …. frequented by ‘away fans in the know’.
The Plough (Northfields Ave) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields. The ‘Northfields run’ makes a much better pub crawl route than South Ealing – getting off at Northfields station, turning left and stopping off at The Plough (2 min walk), The Lord Nelson (10 min walk from The Plough) & The Globe (1 min walk from The Nelson) en-route before ending up at The Griffin (8 min walk from The Globe) by the away turnstiles.
There’s also a relatively new tiny microbrewery pub in Northfields called The Owl and The Pussycat (Northfields Ave)– right turn out of the station away from the ground as opposed to left.
There is a pub right by Brentford station referred to as … the Pub by Brentford station.
For ale head to the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman (Ealing Road) can probably hold 15 of you at a push.
The Brewery Tap (Catherine Wheel Road) is a cosy boozer by the river. And if you are super adventurous, get off at Kew Bridge and visit One Over the Ait (Kew Bridge Road) – a spacious boozer right next to Kew Bridge with a beer deck overlooking the river – and The Express Tavern (Kew Bridge Road) – an ale pub with a retro feel.
A quick Google search and you’ll find them all. There are many many more too if you have a look around.
Parking is pretty easy away from the ground going up towards and over the A4 Great West Rd (ie. North) via Ealing Road or Windmill Road.
Getting to Brentford from town – many fans get the tube to Waterloo (Northern, Jubilee lines) or Vauxhall (Victoria Line) then take the Overground train to Brentford.
This is relatively straight forward but can actually take longer than if you get the tube due to waiting times (overground trains come every 15 mins and the journey from Vauxhall or Waterloo to Brentford is 30 mins on the fast train – 51 mins on the slow train – so you could find it takes you over an hour including the journey from Kings Cross/Euston/Paddington).
Many fans choose the tube over the overground. It’s 35 minutes to Northfields station from Kings Cross or Euston (less from Paddington) and then 15 minutes walk to Brentford from there (4 mins on the bus) – more if you take the Northfields to Brentford pub crawl outlined above (Plough, Lord Nelson, Globe, Griffin) of course. If you’re feeling lazy you could take the E2 bus from outside Northfields station to either outside The Globe pub (3 stops – serves The Lord Nelson too) or Brentford FC (4 stops).
You can check out Transport for London’s guide to travel on the Tube and Overground.
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