Sheffield Wednesday: Ross Wallace calls for Owls improvement ahead of Nottingham Forest showdown
There are lots of ways to win football matches.
It doesn’t always have to be pretty to be effective.
And Sheffield Wednesday’s victory over Blackburn Rovers in midweek was another illustration that the team have added winning ugly to their repertoire.
It is sometimes necessary for a team to dig deep and grind out a result.
Wednesday edged the three-goal contest to seal a third straight league win but Ross Wallace accepts the performance left a lot to be desired.
He said: “With the players we have got, we want to be playing well.
“We are not happy with how we played against Blackburn.
“We had a few leggy players out there but we can’t use that as an excuse. We have got to perform better than that.”
The experienced wide man cited tiredness as one of the main reasons why the team struggled to get going against a Blackburn side scrapping at the wrong end of the table.
Carlos Carvalhal’s charges made a sluggish start and their possession-based style of play looked slow and predictable.
“It looked a tired performance,” said Wallace. “We looked a bit leggy to start off with.
“We will have to go back and look at things. We had to change our formation to get a hold of the game.
“We looked dangerous on the break in the second half and looked as if we were going to get a third which would have killed off the game but we didn’t get that.
“We have got to take the positives out of Blackburn. It was one of them where we didn’t play as well as we could have done but we won.
“Last season, we possibly would have dropped points in that game so you have to look at the positives.”
Despite their largely workmanlike displays, the Owls are on a good run, winning nine of their last 15 Championship fixtures.
Wallace said: “Winning breeds confidence whether you are playing well or not. It is a good habit to be in picking up points when you don’t play well.
“It has been a bonus that we have been picking up wins when we haven’t played well.
“We know we can play better than what we did on Tuesday and that’s what we are looking at.”
Wednesday did the damage from two set pieces against Rovers.
Wallace, who whipped in the corner for Vincent Sasso’s second goal, said: “Everybody is doing their jobs as best as they can. People are chipping in with goals. Sasso got a couple the other night.
“We have to keep winning games and get towards the last 10 games and go for it.”
The Scot was full of praise for Sasso following the defender’s matchwinning brace.
“Sasso attacks corners so well,” acknowledged Wallace. “He’s probably one of the best headers of the ball and we work a lot on corners and set pieces and Sasso always seems to get on the end of them in training.
“I was happy for him to get his goals.”
Carvalhal turned to Sasso to plug their defensive gap after Tom Lees’ injury setback and the former Braga player has not let Wednesday down. He has acquitted himself well and played a big part in Wednesday recording two shut outs in their last three outings.
“He has done fantastic since coming in,” said Wallace. “Obviously Tom was a big loss as he’s a big player for us.
“But if people want to stay in the team, they have to come in and perform and Sasso has done that.”
Next up for the Owls is a trip to Nottingham Forest. Carvalhal’s men will be looking to repeat the fine showing they produced at the City Ground 11 months ago when they strolled to a 3-0 win after goals by Aiden McGeady, Gary Hooper and Marco Matias.
Wallace said: “We can maybe look at how we played last season. I don’t know how they are playing but I’m sure the gaffer will do some homework on them and show us some videos.
“We are suited to playing away from home. It suits more our style.
“I think we are doing a bit better away from home but obviously we want to improve.”