SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: ‘Owls revival is just inches way’

Missing: Jay Bothroyd scored against Leeds but picked up an ankle injury
Missing: Jay Bothroyd scored against Leeds but picked up an ankle injury

DAVE Jones believes that his Sheffield Wednesday team may be just inches away from a major breakthrough in their season.

It could be a cross that is just that bit more accurate than before; a strike at goal that lands on target instead of going wide; or a pass that reaches a potential scorer instead of just being cut out.

Jones could be seen turning away from the touchline in frustration at times at Blackburn when his team failed by fine margins to get the goals that their approach work merited.

His message to the Owls players stays the same: “Keep working at it and things will turn.”

The Owls manager says: “That little lack of quality around the box is costing us at the moment.

“Players have got to pick out the right person. I don’t know how many times we were through on goal against Blackburn and slashed the ball wide.

“They’re good opportunities; we’re creating between 10 and 15 opportunities per game. One of the strikers has to be on the end of it.”

The Owls will also feel that getting the first goal at Ipswich tomorrow will be important - instead of them falling behind as they have often done in their run of 10 games without a win.

“We can’t keep chasing games,” added Jones.

“We have to make sure we get on the end of things.

“We went to a team who had just come out of the Premier League, and, unless I was watching a different game, we absoutely pulverised them for the best part of 80 minutes.

“They couldn’t get out; we kept driving forward, but you’re looking for that better strike, or better cross or pass, and we just didn’t have that.

“That’s frustrating for us, because we do work at it. But when we go on to the big stage, we have to make sure we make it.

“It’s so frustrating when we see players who are half an inch away from gettimg something.

“We just have to keep working at it, because we are making the chances.

“Blackburn probably didn’t play as well as they can but they ended up with a 1-0 win. We just haven’t got that break or bit of luck at the moment. We have to keep going and it will turn.”

Jay Bothroyd did get on the end of

a Michail Antonio long throw to score against Leeds.

But Jones refused to make an excuse out of Bothroyd’s absence from the Blackburn match: “How many chances did we make? How many entries into the box? How many times did they get a block in? How many times did we just not make the right pass?

“It was constant. It was a seige on their goal but nobody is finding the back of the net.”

Jones is also seeking a first clean sheet in the league this season - with the team having come close to that as well in recent weeks.

“The goal at Blackburn was a poor one to give way. We spoke about them taking quick free kicks. People will look at the ball into the box (from the wing in open play) but it started before that with a free kick.

“We designated somebody to stand there and stop it being played but he must have forgot.

“After that we were chasing it and had a right go - they couldn’t stop us. But again to come away with no points is frustrating for everybody.”

Tomorrow’s opponents, Ipswich, have won only one league game this season - 1-0 away to Watford on August 21.

Teams and ref

OWLS (possible): Kirkland, Buxton, Taylor, Llera, Jones, Semedo, Bothroyd, Barkley, Corry, Antonio, Madine (4-1-4-1).

IPSWICH (possible): Henderson, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Martin, Reo-Coker, Wellens, Martin, Drury, Emmanuel-Thomas, Campbell (4-2-3-1).

Roger East (Wiltshire): Handled the Owls’ 2-1 win at Tranmere last season and the League One play-off final between United and Huddersfield. This season he has dished out 40 yellow cards and two reds in 15 games, and his last match was Liverpool 1 Reading 0 last Saturday.