Match report: Sheffield Wednesday 1 Ipswich 1

Owls Michail Antonio after scoring the equalising goal
Owls Michail Antonio after scoring the equalising goal
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Wednesday are hoping to benefit from the international break as they try to fathom out a way to turn draws into wins.

Six points and no victories from the the first 10 games of the season is a meagre haul and spells trouble unless they can correct basic flaws.

They need to be more ruthless at both ends but that of course is easier said than done.

With Jones having said last week that “we still need to move people out” before any more can be signed, he and his staff will keep working at it on the training ground.

The Owls conceded yet another soft goal on Saturday - the third in the last three games - and made too few chances, in their sixth draw of the season.

The shining light was a well-worked goal for Michail Antonio, which he hopes will prove to have been a turning point for him.

Wednesday also showed spirit in fighting back from being behind to a crazy goal stemming from David Goldrick, only the Championship’s Player of the Month and with five goals already this season, being left on his own on the halfway line while the Owls pressed forward after winning a corner and a throw-in.

Jones says that the break - followed by a trip to Bolton a week next Saturday - will give certain players the chance to recover from the recent busy schedule, and allow time for “one or two things” to be worked on at the training ground.

It could also be handy for Reda Johnson, who departed with a groin injury in the 57th minute.

Jones was also concerned about a thigh problem for Stephen McPhail, who, like Matty Fryatt and Roger Johnson, had not played this season until he signed on at Hillsborough.

“The worry about Stephen was whether he pulled his thigh,” said Jones. “It was stiffness. He got though that; after 20 minutes he got going. There were one or two who didn’t get their second wind - that’s why I made the change with Semi.” Jose Semedo replaced Giles Coke in the 43rd minute.

“Roger played on memory. I’ve no problem with him,” added Jones. “Matty and Lewis (Buxton) are dead on their feet.

“I think if we had a fit and sharp Matty, he scores just before half-time.” Fryatt was in the clear for a close-range volley from which Dean Gerken made a wonder save.

Jones included Buxton in the quartet who are playing after long lay-offs.

“In pre-season you play the games and set your programme up to play three games in a week - they missed all that,” he said.

“It just catches up with them. We should see them a bit brighter and sharper (after the break) because of the few games they have had. They’ll be monitored this week.”

There will also be games for fringe players.

“We’re in four days this week,” said Jones.

“We have an under-21 game on Tuesday (against Barnsley at Hillsborough); three of the seniors can play in that. We’re arranging a behind-closed-doors game on Friday; some who didn’t play will play in that.”

Jones can work on various things in training but it is frustrating for him when players who have fulfilled requirements at Middlewood fall below those standards in games. For example, Miguel Llera, who has also delivered some tasty set-pieces in games in the past, failed to cleared the near-post defender with the first two corners. McPhail took over after that.

Two players - not named by Jones - have some explaining to do to the boss this week about why they went AWOL for Ipswich’s goal. Striker McGoldrick sped forward and laid the finish on a plate for the similarly free Paul Anderson, Ipswich’s right winger.

Jones judged that in the first half Wednesday continually played the ball too long too quickly, instead of building from the back and through midfield.

However, there was nothing wrong with the long, high cross from Reda Johnson that brought the equaliser. Atdhe Nuhiu pulled away at the far post for a free header and put the ball perfectly into the path of Antonio for him to nod home

Ipswich played with pace, passing and movement.

Midfielder Cole Skuse hit the inside of a post with a super strike in the 36th minute and lofted an opportunity over the bar moments after that. Fryatt’s chance came in the last minute of the first half and it was followed by a second-half improvement from the Owls.

Even so, they failed to test Gerken again, except for a wicked free-kick to the far post by Buxton. Chris Kirkland had to make good saves from Murphy and Anderson, and McGoldrick and Murphy missed half-chances with free headers.

Some in the crowd did not like it when Fryatt, scorer of a an excellent goal at Brighton in midweek, was taken off and replaced by a midfield player, Liam Palmer. But the striker was feeling the strain. Jermaine Johnson, already on as a sub, was switched up front and hit the bar with a typical blast from 30 yards.

Palmer did well after taking over on the right flank

from Antonio, who was switched to JJ’s previous spot on the left.

But once again Jones was left to rue a defensive lapse and, in the team’s attacking play, the lack of “a bit of quality in vital areas”.

He was right to judge the draw a fair result.

Town boss Mick McCarthy was happy with a point - but Ipswich are winning their home games, something that Wednesday must start doing.