Sign a striker and Sheffield Wednesday are real promotion contenders

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Hear that Sheffield Wednesday have scored just 16 goals this season and you would expect them to struggling to stay afloat in the Championship, but hear that they have conceded the same number and a promotion push would look certain.

But with both these stats true, it’s no surprise to see the Owls languishing in mid-table obscurity.

Stuart Gray’s side could be on course for a decent season, with the playoffs within reach, but things must change.

The acquisition of Keiran Westwood between the posts has been key to their sturdy defence that has allowed fewer goals than all but Middlesbrough in the division.

Yet it is their inability to convert low scoring draws (they’ve played out six 0-0 stalemates this season) into victories that will be of greater hindrance.

Only bottom club Blackpool have scored fewer goals than the Hillsborough outfit (16), and with Stevie May their only player to have found the net more than three times in the league so far this campaign, they clearly need reinforcements up top.

Just four points behind Watford who are the incumbents of the final play-off spot in sixth, a price of 16/1 on the club from south Yorkshire achieving a long awaited return to the big time might seem generous.

Even more tempting might be the 7/1 on offer that they simply reach the play-offs at the end of the season.

They have shown they can compete with the principals already this year. Having played all of the sides in the top six in the last few months, they have lost just twice.

But it is those all too familiar draws that have resulted in picking up just the one victory in that sextet of games.

To highlight the point further, they haven’t lost on the road since September 23rd, yet have only won once away from their own patch in that five game period.

The arrival of Lewis McGugan on loan is a good start to their rebuilding, with the former Nottingham Forest man possessing a wicked free-kick, but more deals in January must be done if they are to challenge the play-off spots.

An attempt to sign Craig Mackail-Smith on loan from Brighton was denied but it showed intent from Gray.

Funds look short to come by, but the likes of Leigh Griffifths at Celtic or maybe Everton’s Arouna Kone, who continues on the comeback from injury, could be viable loan targets that can certainly deliver in the Championship.

If Wednesday sign a decent striker in January, it could be a shrewd move to back them to restore their place in the Premier League after a 15 year absence.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.