Car­val­hal re­lieved as Owls end win­less run

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

STEVEN FLETCHER ended Sh­effield Wed­nes­day’s win­less run by seal­ing this vic­tory at Ful­ham.

Fletcher pounced in the 64th minute to set­tle a poor match in which Ful­ham, who have yet to break their league duck, looked a pale im­i­ta­tion of the side that marched to last sea­son’s play-offs.

Slav­isa Jokanovic’s side scored plenty of goals last time, but, af­ter dom­i­nat­ing the first half, looked de­void of ideas and ran out of gas.

Both of these sides reached last sea­son’s semi-fi­nals, but had been show­ing signs of a han­gover fol­low­ing their de­feats.

Wed­nes­day man­ager Car­los Car­val­hal was re­lieved to get their Cham­pi­onships sea­son up and run­ning, and said: “I was very calm even when we were not win­ning games. There’s ex­pec­ta­tions and pres­sure here, but I be­lieve we will achieve our re­sults.

“We had played well be­fore this in our other games and hadn’t won, so didn’t need to change any­thing. I have al­ways slept well. There was no panic.

“Re­sults are im­por­tant and this win makes us happy, but I al­ways be­lieved we would achieve a vic­tory play­ing the way we were.

“It was good to get a win against one of the strong­est teams in the league and away from home in their sta­dium.

“Some­times we don’t play bet­ter than our op­po­nents and didn’t win. We have in our last games. Here we might not have been for pe­ri­ods, but we are happy to win.

“We cor­rected some things at half-time. We pushed fur­ther for­ward and pressed them higher up the pitch. It was cru­cial to change.”

Ful­ham dom­i­nated the first half, but Sone Aluko was guilty of miss­ing two chances.

Ryan Sesseg­non con­tin­ued the trend af­ter the break be­fore striker Fletcher met Adam Reach’s cross to fire the Owls to a win in a poor game be­tween two of last sea­son’s de­feated play-off semi fi­nal­ists.

Jokanovic is re­fus­ing to press the panic but­ton.

He said: “Our lack of goals is a worry. It was the same story that we have had be­fore.

“We were the bet­ter team, but we couldn’t put it in the net. We couldn’t get the qual­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“I be­lieved we cre­ated more chances than Sh­effield Wednes- day, but they scored and we didn’t. I felt we de­served more than no points.

“We play against one of the top Cham­pi­onship teams who have been two or three years to­gether.

“We have to keep go­ing and im­prove with each game. We are miss­ing a lit­tle bit of speed with the ball.

“We played against an ex­peri- enced team who knew how to de­fend once they scored the goal.” Ful­ham: But­ton, Fred­er­icks, Kalas, Ream, Odoi, Cair­ney, McDon­ald (Ka­mara 75), Jo­hansen (Nor­wood 62), Aluko (Ke­bano 62), Rui Fonte, Ryan Sesseg­non. Un­used sub­sti­tutes: Ojo, Bet­tinelli, Djalo, Cisse. Sh­effield Wed­nes­day: West­wood, Hunt, Lees, Pudil,Fox, Boyd (Palmer 90), Jones, Ban­nan, Reach, Hooper (Forestieri 81), Fletcher (Nuhiu 90). Un­used sub­sti­tutes: Rhodes, Wild­smith, Wal­lace, Abdi. Ref­eree: S At­twell (War­wick­shire).

PIC­TURE: STEVE EL­LIS

VIC­TORY: Sh­effield Wed­nes­day’s Steven Fletcher cel­e­brates his win­ner with Barry Ban­nan.

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