OWLS ON THE RIGHT RHODES

Wed­nes­day thrash the Ca­naries

The Football League Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By John Lyons

SHEFFFIELD Wed­nes­day took an­other step to­wards the play-offs with an im­pres­sive 5-1 de­mo­li­tion job on Nor­wich City.

Striker Jor­dan Rhodes led the way with two goals, while Ross Wal­lace, Mor­gan Fox and Fer­nando Forestieri also got in on the act.

Wed­nes­day lie sixth, in the fi­nal play-off po­si­tion, five points above sev­en­th­placed Ful­ham.

New­cas­tle are five points clear at the top fol­low­ing their con­tro­ver­sial 3-1 win at Hud­der­s­field Town, while sec­ond-placed Brighton slumped to a shock 3-0 loss at Not­ting­ham For­est.

DE­LIGHTED Car­los Carvalhal hailed Sh­effield Wed­nes­day’s thump­ing of Nor­wich City as his side’s best per­for­mance of the sea­son.

The ram­pant Owls turned on the style with a Jor­dan Rhodes brace and goals from Ross Wal­lace, Mor­gan Fox and Fer­nando Forestieri se­cur­ing three more cru­cial points.

It leaves Wed­nes­day five ahead of near­est play-off chal­lengers Ful­ham and nine clear of the Ca­naries, and Carvalhal added that his side’s dis­play was aided by hav­ing plenty of prepa­ra­tion time.

“We had a week to pre­pare the team and we could pre­pare well as a team. The team were fresh and we gave a great dis­play,” he said.

“I had a good ex­pec­ta­tion of the game and the play­ers were un­be­liev­able. They did what they needed to do.

“It was the best per­for­mance of the team this sea­son. We have had good per­for­mances this sea­son that may have been bet­ter, such as against Hud­der­s­field. We added goals to our game. It was an ex­cel­lent dis­play.

“We are un­der pres­sure to win. When we score goals we play bet­ter foot­ball and things are more pos­i­tive for us. The at­mos­phere is more com­fort­able.

“Nor­wich will not give up on the play-offs. We do not feel that we are safe yet, we will just try to win our games and see where it leaves us. You never know what can hap­pen.”

Frus­trated Nor­wich boss Alex Neil said his side had let the club’s fans down.

He said: “We un­der­stood the grav­ity of the game but we didn’t han­dle it. We lacked en­ergy and in­ten­sity.

“The mag­ni­tude of the game got to us and we did not han­dle the game like we should have done. We strug­gled. The play­ers should not be get­ting over­awed by games like this and we talked about it af­ter the game.

“There is an ex­pec­ta­tion level that we have strug­gled with at times. If you look at the goals, we made mis­takes. When you do that you’re al­ways go­ing to find it dif­fi­cult. It’s un­ac­cept­able. We looked like we were wait­ing for some­thing to hap­pen. It’s re­ally dif­fi­cult now from this point.

“All I can do is apol­o­gise to the fans who trav­elled here in their num­bers again. I’ve let the fans down and so have the play­ers.”

Wal­lace fired Wed­nes­day ahead on 15 min­utes fol­low­ing a blun­der by Nor­wich goal­keeper John Ruddy. His fluffed clear­ance in the cor­ner fell per­fectly into Wal­lace’s path, and he shot into an empty net from 35 yards.

And it was 2-0 seven min­utes later when hot-shot Rhodes beat his man to head home Forestieri’s cross.

Cameron Jerome gave the Ca­naries an un­de­served life­line when he poked home af­ter Steven Naismith’s shot had been saved on 38 min­utes.

But it didn’t last long as Fox re­stored Wed­nes­day’s two-goal cush­ion with a back-post header four min­utes be­fore the break.

Sam Win­nall cracked an ef­fort just wide fol­low­ing a swift counter-at­tack by Wed­nes­day on 51 min­utes, and it was game over three min­utes later when Rhodes bagged his sec­ond with an­other header.

Jerome fluffed a chance to give Nor­wich some pride back when he was beaten in a one-on-one by Keiren West­wood af­ter he latched on to a slack back­pass.

The rout was com­plete on 66 min­utes when Forestieri ham­mered home a beau­ti­ful free-kick from 25 yards.

PIC­TURE: ProS­ports/Ian Lyall

OWLS ABOUT THAT: Nor­wich’s John Ruddy can’t stop Sh­effield Wed­nes­day’s Fer­nando Forestieri mak­ing it 5-1, while, above, the Owls cel­e­brate Mor­gan Fox’s goal

PIC­TURE: ProS­ports/ Ian Lyall

ALL OVER: Sh­effield Wed­nes­day cel­e­brate Fer­nando Forestieri’s goal and, in­set, Jor­dan Rhodes cel­e­brates his first STAR MAN JOR­DAN RHODES Sh­eff Wed

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