Five talking points after Queens Park Rangers 3 Sheffield Wednesday 0

Morgan Fox at the final whistleMorgan Fox at the final whistle
Morgan Fox at the final whistle
Sheffield Wednesday slipped to a second successive Championship defeat, losing 3-0 at Queens Park Rangers.

Goals either side of half-time from Tomer Hemed, Luke Freeman and substitute Nahki Wells sentenced the Owls to a sixth consecutive loss in London, a run stretching back to a 1-0 victory at Fulham in August 2017.

Here are five talking points.

Morgan Fox at the final whistleMorgan Fox at the final whistle
Morgan Fox at the final whistle

 

Wednesday are all over the place defensively

Fourteen league matches. No clean sheets.

It is not a winning formula.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Jos LuhukaySheffield Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay
Sheffield Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay

It doesn't matter what personnel play or formation the team set up in; the Owls are currently far too open and easy to play against.

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QPR had 22 shots at goal last night. Twenty two. That is way too many.

What has happened to the Wednesday team who were so solid and organised when manager Jos Luhukay first arrived back in January?

Luhukay conceded his side were punished for some sloppy defending at Loftus Road but the truth is that QPR did not have to work too hard to score their three goals. Luhukay needs to quickly tighten things up or the Owls will continue to fall down the table.

Sheffield Wednesday loanee Josh OnomahSheffield Wednesday loanee Josh Onomah
Sheffield Wednesday loanee Josh Onomah

 

The Owls lacked ruthlessness at both ends of the field

Everybody knows Wednesday are vulnerable at the back but they were toothless in attack.

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Hemed's first half opener dented their confidence and self belief following a positive start.

Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry BannanSheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan
Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan

The ball did not stick up front. Forwards Atdhe Nuhiu and Lucas Joao failed to provide the team with a platform to build on.

Yet Nuhiu could have scored with a chance in the first half from an acute angle while Joao's flicked header from Adam Reach's cross hit the post when QPR were leading 1-0.

'Lucas hits the post with the header and little more than a minute later, QPR have another goal," said Luhukay.

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It was, as Luhukay pointed out, a "crucial moment" and the turning point in the contest.

 

There will never be any cohesion if Luhukay continues to chop and change the team and formation

Sheffield Wednesday defender Michael HectorSheffield Wednesday defender Michael Hector
Sheffield Wednesday defender Michael Hector

It is clear Luhukay is unsure of his best line-up or formation.

He doesn't like the word rotatation but he made five changes on Tuesday evening, including dropping club captain Tom Lees to the bench.

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Having played with a three-man defence in recent weeks, the Owls reverted to a flat back four in the capital.

Luhukay's decision to alter the majority of his defence backfired.

Luhukay is doing himself no favours by frequently tinkering with the starting eleven and shape. There is nothing wrong with being unpredictable but teams who inevitably challenge at the top end of the league have a settled team, a settled way of playing and a strong spine. Wednesday are coming up short in these three keys areas.

 

More creativity is required

Wednesday had over 60 per cent of possession but did not do enough with the ball. A lot of their approach play was slow and ponderous. They only played at a high tempo and with some urgency after falling two goals behind.

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The Owls are relying too heavily on the creative talents of Barry Bannan. The stand-in skipper had over 100 touches. He tried to pull the strings and make things happen, although not all his passing was accurate. Wednesday needed him in more advanced positions.

There was no spark and they sorely missed Fernando Forestieri and Marco Matias. The pair give the team some much-needed speed and workrate at the top end of the pitch.

 

No need to panic...yet

Things can change quickly in football and Wednesday have fallen from a play-off place to a spot firmly in mid-table after two defeats in less than a week.

Only two points separate Sheffield Wednesday in 14th position and Derby County in sixth. Two points.

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Let's remember that Luhukay inherited a tough gig. He was dealt a rough hand and has worked with an injury-hit squad throughout his nine-month reign and had little room for manoeuvre in the transfer market, signing just three players (only one permanent addition). There were always going to be bumps in the road.

Modern football managers are not given too much time to bring success to their club but there is a big rebuilding job to be done at Hillsborough. They may have to go through some short-term pain for long-term gain.

What Luhukay must focus on is rectifying their leaky defence. If he doesn't, the criticism of his leadership will only mount.