Vanishing act angers Wilson

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The Independent Online

IT IS an indication of the mounting problems at Sheffield Wednesday that their manager, Danny Wilson, had fielded 21 different players in their five league games before this visit to The Dell. He may now be forced to find a 22nd, after his most gifted performer elected not to play at all on Saturday.

IT IS an indication of the mounting problems at Sheffield Wednesday that their manager, Danny Wilson, had fielded 21 different players in their five league games before this visit to The Dell. He may now be forced to find a 22nd, after his most gifted performer elected not to play at all on Saturday.

The Owl who went Awol was their Italian forward, Benito Carbone, who, after being named as a substitute, was reported to have jumped in a taxi to the airport and caught the first flight to Italy.

"Substitutes are very, very important, an integral part of the game these days," said an understandably exasperated Wilson. "The influence Carbone can have on games coming on as substitute can be great for us. It would have been perfect to bring him on in the latter stages but he obviously didn't see it like that. I'm absolutely disgusted with his attitude, and so are the players.

"Carbone has been Wednesday's leading scorer both last season and this, claiming two of their three league goals so far. His behaviour on Saturday was inexcusable, but if Wilson feels Wednesday are a better side without him, on the evidence of this largely dire performance he will need to find a replacement fast. His side managed only two efforts of note, one run and shot early in the game from their Belgian striker Gilles De Bilde, and a second-half chance to draw level which fell initially to Petter Rudi, but was eventually fluffed by Richard Cresswell.

None of Wednesday's huffing and puffing was ever likely to cause too much sweat for Southampton, despite the energy-sapping heat in which the game was played. Once the parity was broken by Hassan Kachloul, it was only a matter of time before Matthew Oakley's late free-kick sealed the Saints' third win this season.

With only one point so far and pressure mounting, Wilson will be left to derive some comfort from Southampton's similarly dismal start last season. At least Wednesday's supporters have not lost heart yet: "Can we have a shot on goal?" they sang, hopefully. Unless Carbone has a change of mood before Everton visit Hillsborough on 11 September, the prospects of that look grim.

Goals: Kachloul (53) 1-0; Oakley (84) 2-0.

Southampton (4-4-2): Jones; Dodd, Richards, Lundekvam, Benali; Ripley, Oakley, Soltvedt, Kachloul (Boa Morte, 78); Hughes, Pahars. Substitutes not used: Almeida, Hiley, Bridge, Moss (gk)

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Atherton, Newsome, Thome, Briscoe; Alexandersson, Haslam (Sibon, 75), Scott, Rudi; Cresswell, De Bilde (Donnelly, 63). Substitutes not used: Hamshaw, Nolan, Srnicek (gk). Referee: P Alcock (Kent).

Bookings: Sheff Wed: Scott, Atherton.

Man of the match: Soltvedt

Attendance: 14,815.

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