Sheffield Wednesday: I am Keane to fire Owls up the table, says striker will

Owls Will Keane with Countys George Thorne
Owls Will Keane with Countys George Thorne
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The goals are starting to flow and he is loving playing regular first-team football.

But Will Keane insists he will only truly start enjoying his Sheffield Wednesday adventure when the team starts winning football matches.

The striker, who has notched two goals in six starts since arriving on loan from Manchester United last month, is still waiting to celebrate an Owls victory.

But buoyed by scoring his first goal from open play in his fledgling career, Keane is seeking to propel 12th-placed Wednesday up the Championship table.

The 22-year-old, who is set to remain at Hillsborough until the end of the season, admitted: “I’ve enjoyed it so far. It’s been a good experience.

“I’m playing games week in week out so hopefully I can keep getting the games and putting the ball in the back of the net. That’s my role in the team so I will keep working to try and do that.

“The results have not gone our way in the time I’ve been here so that’s something we need to put right. As soon as we start winning games, I’m sure I will start enjoying it a lot more.”

Wednesday twice went ahead in Saturday’s tussle at Derby before succumbing to a 3-2 defeat. Keane registered in the 55th minute following a defensive mix-up but Stuart Gray’s men conceded two goals from corners and were condemned to a third consecutive away loss by a 77th minute Darren Bent penalty.

“The goals we conceded were poor,” claimed Keane. “We spend a lot of time practicing set plays both for and against so to concede two goals from corners and a penalty was very frustrating.

“Derby had a lot of possession and are a very good team but we limited them to few chances.

“When you score two goals away from home, you expect to take take something from the game so that was very disappointing.

“We should have learned from our mistakes but we have to take it on the chin and move on.”

Keane said he was delighted to get on the score-sheet but wished it had been in a winning cause.

“It was nice to score from open play but I was disappointed we lost,” he said. “It is without a doubt a confidence booster when you get a goal. You are always buzzing when you’ve scored.

“I feel good and hopefully I can go out and get a few more.”

For much of the contest, Gray deployed Keane on the left wing.

He said: “I was a bit more on the left hand side because we knew that Derby would pose a big threat with the ball. Quite a lot of my work was tracking their full-back and getting back into help the defence out. It was slightly different but was something I had to adapt to.”

Victory for Millwall at The Den would cut the gap between them and Wednesday to six points. It is not beyond the realms of possibility Gray’s side could yet get sucked into a relegation dogfight. A good run is required to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three.

“When I first came here, we were closer towards the play-offs and we have edged further and further away which hasn’t been good,” said Keane. “We need to put that right, starting at Millwall. We need to get three points and build some momentum and get on a bit of a run.

“We know the bottom three is not too far off. We know we have to get our act together or we will be looking over our shoulders.

“The next few games are important and we need to try and get a few wins.”

Regarding his long-term future, Keane still harbours ambitions of forcing his way into United’s senior set-up.

The 22-year-old said: “I have been at United for 10 plus years and I signed a new contract there last season so my aim was to come here, do well and then re-assess that at the end of the season.

“I will give everything I’ve got while I’m at Wednesday but my aim is to ultimately go back to United and play.

“I want to play in the Premier League and play at the highest possible standard.”

Teams and Ref

Millwall (possible): (4-2-3-1)

Forde; Abdou, Dunne, Hooiveld, Harding; Tonge, Williams; Woolford, Fabbrini, O’Brien or Taylor-Fletcher; Gregory or Maierhofer.

Owls (possible): (4-5-1)

Kirkland; Palmer, Lees, Zayatte, Helan; Lee, McGugan, Hutchinson, Semedo, Maguire; Keane.

James Linington

The Newport whistler has taken charge of 27 matches this season, showing 71 bookings and eight red cards. Linington officiated Wednesday’s 1-0 triumph at Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening day of the season, sending off Andrew Crofts for a dangerous tackle on Sam Hutchinson.