Football: Wednesday want weightier response to Wilson's entreaties

Sunderland 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0
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THERE WAS not a lot that Danny Wilson could have said. It is points that Sheffield Wednesday need, not prattle.

Their plight, at the foot of the Premiership, speaks for itself. And, in any case, the injury time action at the Stadium of Light on Saturday spoke louder than any words of wisdom Wilson might have delivered had he chosen to accept his invitation to the press room.

When Danny Sonner rose to head Wim Jonk's left-wing corner, with 90 minutes on the clock, it seemed Wednesday and their manager were about to be rewarded for an afternoon of vastly improved endeavour back in the North-east. When the ball rebounded off Thomas Sorensen's crossbar, however, the nett result was no different from the 8-0 slaughter at Newcastle the previous Sunday.

Indeed, the blow was just as hard to take - as the anguished Wilson, head buried in hands at pitch-side, reflected. For 91 minutes the Wednesday manager had toiled away as his team's 12th man, constantly cajoling from the touchline.

Wilson has been this way before, of course - only Barnsley, the season before last, had six points after their opening nine matches, not one, and possessed a collective fighting spirit Wednesday will have to find to give themselves a survival chance.

For 45 minutes on Saturday they were the better side. But then Peter Reid replaced Kevin Ball with Alex Rae and Sunderland found the attacking midfield momentum that ultimately carried them to victory.

Within five minutes, Rae had released Nicky Summerbee on the right and Stefan Schwarz had found the back of the Wednesday net with a sweeping low volley. Sonner was no longer the game's influential figure, though he did break through to force a fine save from Sorensen before rattling his cross-bar.

"I felt for Danny Wilson last Sunday," Reid said. "But, hand on heart, I can't say I felt much for him today. We had our own battle to fight."

And Reid's men are making a habit of emerging victorious. Saturday's success was their third in succession in the top division, a feat last achieved by Sunderland back in March 1983.

Goal: Schwarz (50) 1-0.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Sorensen; Makin, Butler, Bould, Gray; Summerbee, Ball (Rae h-t), McCann, Schwarz; Phillips, Quinn (Dichio 86). Substitutes not used: Marriott, Fredgard, Williams.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Srnicek; Nolan, Thome, Walker, Briscoe; Donnelly (Sibon 84), Alexandersson, Sonner, Rudi (Jonk 62); Booth, De Bilde (Cresswell 62). Substitutes not used: Pressman, Haslam

Referee: A Wiley (Burntwood).

Booking: Sheffield Wednesday: D Bilde.

Man of the match: Sonner.

Attendance: 41,132.

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