Evans' problems with Liverpool extremists

GUY HODGSON

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Liverpool 1

There are many things a Newcastle supporters can be grateful for. David Ginola for one thing, knowing the words to "One Kevin Keegan" another. But most of all they should go on their knees to give thanks that sides like Liverpool are in not-so-hot pursuit of their heroes.

Manchester United are probably too raw to catch the Premiership leaders, but Liverpool should have the talent and experience to be putting a scintilla of pressure on Newcastle. And are they? Does Stan Collymore irritate people in Nottingham?

Being Roy Evans can not be an easy thing. Twice a week he whips his charges to a frenzy of ambition and then sits back not having a clue how they are going to perform. Mostly they are a delight yet they can be truly dreadful as well. This match, like the Forest one last month, had them swaying crazily from one extreme to the other.

For a long period they were so poor it required opponents of Wednesday's Shetland-pony-like killer instinct for them to escape with only a one- goal deficit. After the interval they steamrollered the home team and should have taken all three points. They did not, of course, and Newcastle could play Coventry yesterday knowing that a defeat would not be a cause for grave concern.

"For some reason we need to be stung into action," Evans said. "In the first half we didn't compete, we couldn't get into the game. After the interval we were dominant."

That was due, too, to Wednesday who are a diluted version of Liverpool in that they can be good and bad within seconds. At first they were terrific, tearing their opponents' defence to pieces with their changing patterns and intelligent, dangerous running from David Hirst and Darko Kovacevic.

The latter put them ahead after six minutes, sweeping Ian Nolan's pass past James, but Wednesday could, and probably should, have quadrupled that in the first hour. Guy Whittingham hit the bar after 47 minutes from point-blank range and was denied a candidate for the goal of the season by James' save at his feet after an exhilarating run. Steve Nicol and Hirst also might have scored.

Liverpool had suggested, however, that something positive lurked underneath the defensive chaos when Rob Jones hit the post after 40 minutes, and in the final half hour they pounded forward as Wednesday tired alarmingly.

Not with ruthless efficiency, Liverpool are too fond of proving how good they are to do that, but with a slow, steady increase in momentum.

By the last 20 minutes Wednesday could barely get out of their own half and it said volumes about Evans' innate caution that he waited almost until it was too late to do what the situation screamed for: taking off a defender to bring Ian Rush on.

The master striker had only one chance but if anyone personifies the goalscorers' maxim of always making sure shots hit the target it is him and with two minutes remaining his low drive was deflected past Chris Woods off Des Walker.

It was hard on Wednesday although you would have to be wearing blue and white spectacles to deny Liverpool deserved a point. The problem is the visitors require more if they are to catch Newcastle and at the moment they do not look capable of it.

Goals: Kovacevic (6) 1-0; Rush (88) 1-1.

Sheffield Wednesday (5-3-2): Woods; Nolan, Atherton, Nicol, Walker, Briscoe; Degryse (Hyde, 86), Waddle, Whittingham; Hirst, Kovacevic (Bright, 76). Substitute not used: Stefanovic.

Liverpool (5-3-2): James; McAteer, Scales, Ruddock, Babb, Jones (Rush, 79); McManaman, Thomas, Barnes; Collymore, Fowler. Substitutes not used: Matteo, Pears (gk).

Referee: D Elleray (Harrow).

Bookings: Liverpool: Ruddock.

Man of the match: Nicol.

Attendance: 32,747.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game