Manager Stuart Gray believes Saturday’s South Yorkshire derby against Rotherham United will be the best tonic for his “Jekyll and Hyde” Sheffield Wednesday team, after their 2-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth last night.
Gray’s men extended their winless run to nine games in all competitions, as goals from Andrew Surman and Ryan Fraser sent the Cherries to the top of the Championship table.
Wednesday’s misery was compounded when on-loan Reading man Royston Drenthe was sent off for two bookable offences, and Gray admitted that a few home truths had been spoken in the dressing room after what he described as his “most disappointing performance” since taking over the Hillsborough hotseat.
“We’ve had a good meeting after the game with the players,” Gray admitted.
“We’ve all agreed that, to score goals, we have to create chances for our forwards and we didn’t do that enough.
“Jeremy [Helan] had a good chance to get at their defence in the first half, as did Liam Palmer, but we didn’t take it.
“But the most important thing is to pick ourselves up and learn from it. Maybe the best thing for us is to have a South Yorkshire derby next up, at home - the crowd will be well up for it and the players are really disappointed with their performance out there, so they’ll be really up for it as well.”
Drenthe will be suspended for the visit of Steve Evans’ Millers, and Gray added: “The sending off didn’t help us, and we lacked a little bit of self belief after that.
“But we went a man down last year at Bournemouth and ended up winning 4-2, so we can’t always expect a sending off to affect us negatively. You’ve got to respond to it, and we didn’t get a response out there.
“The first booking was right in front of the dug-out, and I think it was more for intent than an actual challenge. And Royston says he got the ball for the second booking, but when you’re on a yellow card and you go into a challenge off the ground, you’re giving the referee something to think about.
“We’re a real Jekyll and Hyde side at the minute - we’re fantastic away from home and play with real confidence, but at home we seem to have no confidence at all. Hopefully we can regroup on Thursday and put that right on Saturday.”
Gray revealed after the game that Joe Mattock is set to miss six weeks with an ankle ligament injury.
“We’ve lost Joe and Royston, which leaves us a little thin on the ground,” the Owls boss admitted.
“So we’ll continue to try and get someone in but whoever does come in, has to roll their sleeves up, fight and show some heart.”