The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Si­mon Smed­ley

SH­EFFIELD Wednes­day boss Car­los Car­val­hal in­sists the pres­sure is still on his side ahead of to­mor­row’s crunch clash at QPR.

The Owls ground out a late, vi­tal vic­tory against gutsy Cardiff on Fri­day to main­tain the push for the top six.

They fol­lowed up a su­perb vic­tory against Newcastle with sub Fernando Forestieri’s clincher with just six min­utes left, but grab­bing those two ex­tra points late on won’t make life any eas­ier for the run-in.

Car­val­hal, whose side re­main two points clear of Ful­ham in sev­enth place, said: “There is pres­sure on us all the time.

“Since the first game of the sea­son there has been huge pres­sure on us, but all we’ve got to keep do­ing is win­ning games.

“That re­mains the sit­u­a­tion, so we’ll go to QPR with a big sup­port be­hind us and try and keep this run go­ing.

“It’s a lovely old foot­ball sta­dium at QPR, I wish I was still play­ing so I could be in­volved, but Mon­day is go­ing to be a dif­fer­ent game down there.

“It’s go­ing to be re­ally tough for us to get a re­sult down there, but at the same time QPR will know that they are not in for an easy game.”

Fri­day’s game at Hills­bor­ough saw a goal­less first pe­riod, though two pas­sages lit up an other­wise dreary 45 min­utes.

The first came af­ter just ten min­utes when Owls mid­fielder Ross Wal­lace cracked in a su­per low strike which Cardiff keeper Al­lan McGre­gor dived full length to palm su­perbly onto the post.

The other huge talk­ing point came three min­utes be­fore the break when Ju­nior Hoi­lett took ex­cep­tion to a chal­lenge from Daniel Pudil be­fore push­ing the Wednes­day full-back to the floor with raised hands.

The home faith­ful roared their dis­ap­proval as the Cardiff wide man was only shown a yel­low card.

The sec­ond pe­riod wasn’t much bet­ter from ei­ther side, though the wood­work came to Cardiff’s res­cue again in the 73rd minute when full-back Jack Hunt’s cross was touched onto the out­side of the post by McGre­gor.

Barry Ban­nan fired one over from dis­tance, be­fore the Owls got their pre­cious goal late on.

Sub Jor­dan Rhodes smashed in a ter­rific strike which McGre­gor could only palm into the path of Forestieri, who dived in ac­ro­bat­i­cally to head into an un­guarded net.

The sea­son is al­ready pretty much over for Cardiff, and for boss Neil Warnock, he wouldn’t have too many com­plaints if Fri­day had been the fi­nal game of the cam­paign as they set­tle in for a mid-ta­ble fin­ish to the sea­son.

He said: “I can’t re­mem­ber Wednes­day hav­ing too many chances at all.

“We re­stricted them and that does give me con­fi­dence as we look to­wards next sea­son maybe. “If we add three or four more de­cent play­ers to that team then who knows where me might end up. “We’ll learn a few more things about the team in these few re­main­ing games, but I’m al­ready ex­pect­ing us to have a de­cent sea­son next sea­son. “The nu­cleus of a good squad is al­ready there as far as I can see.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

SUPERSUB: Fernando Forestieri cel­e­brates his late win­ner for the Owls


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