‘Mad Cham­pi­onship’ leaves Owls in freefall

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL -

A WEEK is a long time in foot­ball, just ask Sh­effield Wed­nes­day cap­tain Tom Lees.

The Owls were in the top six com­ing out of this month’s in­ter­na­tional break, but three suc­ces­sive de­feats have sent them into a tail­spin, drop­ping down the Cham­pi­onship to 15th.

Af­ter de­feats to Mid­dles­brough and QPR, the Owls lost 3-1 at Birm­ing­ham City on Satur­day to pile the pres­sure on man­ager Jos Luhukay.

And it could get worse be­fore it gets bet­ter for Wed­nes­day, who face top-six teams in their next three out­ings.

They travel to lead­ers Sh­effield United for the Steel City derby next Fri­day ei­ther side of Hills­bor­ough games with fourth­placed Nor­wich and Derby County, who are sixth.

“It is dis­ap­point­ing how the last week has gone,” said Lees. “It is mad in the Cham­pi­onship. Only last week we were in the top six.

“We need to stop the bad run of form and there is only one way of do­ing that and that is hard work and a will and de­sire to put it right.

“It has been a tough week for us but we only have two op­tions. You let it carry on or you put a stop to it. We have to put a stop to it.

“The only way to put this right is hard work and de­sire. We must stick to­gether and try to do the right things.”

At St An­drew’s, the Owls should have wrapped up vic­tory by half-time. They dom­i­nated the first half and Birm­ing­ham could not have com­plained if they had gone in at half-time trail­ing 4-1.

Steven Fletcher, who opened the scor­ing in the 19th minute, hit the post af­ter 70 sec­onds, while Liam Palmer had two ex­cel­lent chances to have in­creased the Owls’ lead.

Birm­ing­ham, to their credit, bat­tled hard to stay in con­tention and were in no small way as­sisted by Con­nor Ma­honey’s 43rd-minute equaliser when the on-loan winger from Bournemouth recorded his first goal for the club.

Wed­nes­day, who have now con­ceded 12 of their 14 goals in the sec­ond half, wilted as Birm­ing­ham staged a late fin­ish to snatch the points to ex­tend their im­pres­sive un­beaten run to 11, Lukas Jutkiewicz and Che Adams scor­ing in the last 10 min­utes.

BAD WEEK: Sh­effield Wed­nes­day cap­tain Tom Lees re­flects on three suc­ces­sive de­feats which have sent the Owls tum­bling down the ta­ble.

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