Sheffield Wednesday: Trouble at home for Owls

Danny Pugh beats Crystal Palace's Glenn Murray in the air.
Danny Pugh beats Crystal Palace's Glenn Murray in the air.
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DANNY Pugh has acknowledged Sheffield Wednesday have to urgently rectify their home form to avoid an immediate return to League One.

The fourth-from-bottom Owls have won just six times at Hillsborough during the 2012/13 campaign, picking up just 21 points out of a possible 57. Only Peterborough United (19) and Charlton Athletic (18) have accrued fewer points at home in the Championship than the South Yorkshire side. Indeed, 22nd-placed Peterborough United have lost as many matches (10) on their own patch as Wednesday.

Despite having played a game more at home, Dave Jones troops have actually garnered more points on the road (22) than in front of their owns supporters.

“We seem to perform better away from home,” Pugh told The Star.

After the international break, Owls entertain fellow strugglers Barnsley. A bumper 30,000-plus crowd is expected to cheer on Jones side, who lie just a point above the drop zone with nine matches left.

Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough have all got to visit the Owls before the end of the season and Pugh admits the team have got to turnaround their home form.

Pugh, deployed in central midfield against table-topping Cardiff City, said: “It should be a plus having all the fans behind us; there is no reason why we should have such bad home form. It is something we need to improve very quickly.”

To compound the Owls problems, all of the bottom six won at the weekend apart from Bristol City.

Pugh, on loan from Leeds United until the end of the season, said: “The teams around the bottom have been getting good results, we can’t rely on other teams to slip up.

“We have to look after our own form.”

Of the 2-0 defeat to Cardiff, left-footed Pugh, who can also operate at left-back or on the left flank, said: “It was a setback for us but we will regroup now and come back firing for the next game.”

*Did you know? After losing to old club Cardiff for the second time this season, Jones’ managerial record since succeeding Gary Megson at the helm reads 24 victories, 10 draws and 20 defeats.