TOOTH­LESS OWLS TROU­BLING GRAY

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Steven Chicken

SH­EFFIELD Wed­nes­day gave plenty of in­di­ca­tion as to why they have the un­wanted sta­tus of the league’s worst at­tack­ing out­fit, and boss Stu­art Gray wants an in­stant im­prove­ment.

Sub­sti­tute At­dhe Nuhiu summed up their ef­forts with a ter­ri­ble miss in the last minute of a game in which Wed­nes­day dom­i­nated the chances against rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened Al­bion.

This re­sult marks Wed­nes­day’s eighth goal­less draw of the sea­son, their ninth home out­ing with­out scor­ing, and leaves them with just two goals from open play in 24 hours of league foot­ball.

But they re­main 11th in the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble thanks to a de­fence that is sec­ond-best only to pro­mo­tion con­tenders Mid­dles­brough.

That gives Gray hope that his side can halt a win­less run of six games by find­ing their shoot­ing boots. He said:“In the sec­ond half I thought we dom­i­nated the game on a dif­fi­cult pitch.

“On a nor­mal pitch Nuhiu would just stroke that chance in, be­cause he’s cre­ated his chance ex­cel­lently well.

“It is like Ground­hog Day. We had it against Cardiff where we dom­i­nated the pos­ses­sion and the chances.

“But credit to the boys. On Tues­day night we were very poor against Ip­swich, so I can’t fault the ef­fort. We just need to find that fi­nal piece of the jig­saw.

“We’re not go­ing to feel sorry for our­selves. If we weren’t cre­at­ing chances I’d be a lit­tle bit con­cerned, but one thing we do know is it’s go­ing to take some­body to stick away the chances we’ve cre­ated.

“At the mo­ment we are cre­at­ing clear-cut chances but we’re not con­vert­ing them.”

The first half fea­tured just two chances of note: two head­ers from Kieran Lee crosses, both well-saved by Brighton keeper David Stock­dale, from Wed­nes­day’s start­ing strike part­ner­ship of Sergiu Bus and Will Keane.

The sec­ond half was in­evitably an im­prove­ment, with Wed­nes­day look­ing in­creas­ingly threat­en­ing as the game wore on be­fore a weary Hills­bor­ough faith­ful. Bus went close again five min­utes in, but his flick from Jac­ques Maghoma’s low cross went wide.

Lee con­tin­ued to look the most likely to make some­thing hap­pen, and he had two de­cent scor­ing chances in quick suc­ces­sion 20 min­utes from time.

Inigo Calderon got back su­perbly to make the block to keep out the first one, and winger Lee forced an­other Stock­dale save with a shot on the turn mo­ments later.

The Seag­ulls’ best chance came five min­utes later when Joao Teix­eira pulled back a cross for Bruno Sal­tor, but the mid­fielder over­shot his run and could only turn it over the bar with his trail­ing leg.

Nuhiu should have wrapped up the points in the 90th minute af­ter tak­ing down Jeremy He­lan’s ex­cel­lent ball in the box, but hav­ing tri­umphed in the dif­fi­cult task of shrug­ging off his marker, the Aus­trian shinned it well over the bar.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton said:“We’ve had two tough away games this week at Cardiff and here, so we al­ways knew it’d be dif­fi­cult.

“It’s a dif­fi­cult pitch to play how you would like, and it was al­ways go­ing to be a close en­counter. “But that’s two clean sheets on the road in the last two games, and as the away team you have to be pleased with that.

“Our keeper has pulled out a cou­ple of good saves and the two cen­tre halves were very good.

“But we need to start win­ning points at home, and that’s been dif­fi­cult for us.

“With most teams it’s the cor­ner­stone of how your sea­son is. You try and get points away from home if you can, but you’ve got to ac­cu­mu­late points at home.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

WILL­ING IT IN: Sh­effield Wed­nes­day’s Will Keane sees his header saved by Brighton’s David Stock­dale

HANDS OFF: Wed­nes­day’s Liam Palmer, right, tus­sles

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.