FT Owls: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Burnley 2

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Dave Jones is shrugging off three successive 2-1 defeats and vowing that the Owls will grow stronger.

This latest setback for a depleted squad came in a close contest and left the manager cautioning against panic.

Burnley's Danny Ings heads home their first goal

Burnley's Danny Ings heads home their first goal

He has Reda Johnson and Lewis Buxton to come back from injuries, Jermaine Johnson available when he has served his ban, and is preparing the ground to sign a striker and a creative midfield player so long as he can offload certain players.

Jones also found himself without Giles Cokes after he went down with illness on Saturday morning, and without Gary Madine, with chairman Milan Mandaric having decided that it was best if the striker devoted all his attention to his upcoming court case.

In the meantime it is a case of new players settling in, youngsters being asked to do their best and gaining experience, and everyone battling for the cause - which is what the team certainly did on Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday deserved a draw, all things considered, despite giving Burnley a two-goal start through, once again, defensive flaws, which obviously will have to become much rarer if progress is to be made.

“We’re two (league) games in. Certain people might panic. There’s no panic; we’ll get stronger,” says Jones.

“But we do need a bit of help, with the injured players coming back, and the one or people we’re looking at.”

Wednesday have been particularly unlucky to lose four full-backs: Johnson, Buxton, Kieran Lee and Joe Mattock.

Liam Palmer, aged 21, has filled in at right-back and made David Prutton’s splendidly-headed goal with a peach of a cross.

“Liam’s done well, but we need to get Lewis back, then we can release Liam to go a bit more forward; that’s where his strength is,” said Jones.

“We’ve got two inexperienced full-backs. The experience will stand them in good stead. You can’t blame them. Collectively we should have done better.”

Left-back Rafael Floro, only 19, had something of a Championship baptism of fire. Winger Ross Wallace ran in behind him to cross for the first goal: Danny Ings ran away from Prutton and got in front of a flat-footed Palmer to head home.

For the second goal, Floro might have closed down crosser Kieran Trippier better. Sam Vokes pulled away at the far post to get in behind Kamil Zayatte and, with Palmer preoccupied with marking his own man, it was essentially another free header.

Jones at half-time did what he had thought about doing before the game: he switched Jeremy Helan to left-back, having been wary of doing that because it lessened the chances of his pace being effective going forward.

With Chris Maguire sent on as a sub up front, Michail Antonio moved from there to the right wing and Jacques Maghoma to the left, the Owls were a more dangerous attacking force than in the first, though that was down to improved passing and crossing rather than tactics.

Maguire one again was lively and industrious as he kept up his long quest to earn a place in the starting side.

Jones refused to blamed individuals for the Burnley goals. “You have to stop crosses coming in and defend them better. But we gave it away too easily up top and they broke on us, and we gave it away in midfield and they broke on us,” he said.

He also sees it is a team responsibility to provide the high crosses on which Atdhe Nuhiu may thrive.

The striker received hardly any service in the first half, but good balls from Maghoma and Jose Semedo in the second half resulted in one header going inches wide and another being well saved; that second one also led to a loose ball chance where Antonio too was denied by Heaton. Clarets manager Sean Dyche praised “a fantastic double save”.

Jones said: “Atdhe brought it down and linked play well. When we gave him the right service in the second half, he became a threat. We need to play to his strengths.”

In terms of possession, chances and strikes at goal, Wednesday were hard done by to get nothing - and they dominated the second half.

But they could do with more guile and creativity and a sharper cutting edge - hence Jones’ efforts in the transfer market.

Coke’s absence brought a rare League start for Semedo - with the manager admitting that he and Prutton are similar midfield tacklers and deciding against a place for Rhys McCabe.

“Rhys scored a good goal on Tuesday (at Rotherham), but we know he’s better than that (performance). He’s another young player learning his trade. When we lost Cokey, I thought it was the right game for Semi.

“Pruts pushed forward more - it’s not a natural thing for him but they couldn’t both sit.

“It’s no secret we’re looking for that creative midfield player. Unless we’ve got some money to buy him or someone is prepared to release someone, it’s always very difficult to find.

“Semi was unlucky - he got in once or twice. He didn’t let anyone down. He gives the ball away sometimes. But he wins it. I couldn’t fault the team in the second half. They had a right go.”

Madine’s absence contributed to a debut as sub for Caolan Lavery - great for the young forward but a sign of how stretched the squad is, when it is not Madine coming off the bench.

Madine will carry on training but will be out of the public eye while he focuses on preparations for his court hearing. It begins on September 2, concerns alleged assault, and is expected to take him away from the club for a fortnight. Jones said: “It’s a big thing for him and his young career. It’s a big call by the club; people will ask ‘is it the right one?’ But it’s the lad’s future, and I think it is.”