Sheffield Wednesday: Neil Thompson bemoans the Owls' lack of quality in the Under-23s defeat to rivals Bolton Wanderers
Owls Under-23s boss Neil Thompson criticised his players for their 'lack of quality on the ball' in the wake of their home defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
Things looked rosy for Wednesday after Frederik Nielsen, who made his senior debut in their FA Cup win over Carlisle United last week, stabbed them into a second minute lead.
But in-form Bolton battled back at a cold, windy Middlewood Road to record a ninth league win in their last 10 matches thanks to goals either side of half-time by strikers Connor Hall and Jeff King.
Victory moves the Trotters above the Owls into top spot in the Professional Development League Two table on goal difference after 17 matches.
Thompson told The Star: “I’m disappointed. Conditions were tricky but it was the same for both sides.
“We started off well enough and it was a game the lads wanted to win. But I thought we showed a lack of quality on the ball. We looked anxious in possession and rushed things.
“There was not enough quality there.”
Watched on by assistant manager Remy Reynierse, defender Nielsen gave Wednesday the perfect start, firing home following a goalmouth scramble.
Aside from a Matt Penney shot which was easily saved by James Aspinall, the Owls rarely looked capable of adding to their lead. Bolton appeared sharper and dominated for long spells.
Hall, formerly of Sheffield United, equalised in the 35th minute after a superb delivery by Ryan White.
It was a below-par display by a youthful Wednesday side, consisting of Nielsen, Connor O’Grady and Sean Clare, and Hall completed the turnaround after the restart, rifling home from 10 yards.
“People are allowed to have bad games; it’s what sometimes happens in football,” said Thompson. “It was a scrappy game. But certainly from our point of view, we didn’t pass the ball as well as we wanted to.
“People were a bit rushed and wanted to do the million dollar things all the time and sometimes you can’t do that.
“Bolton harried and chased us and put us under pressure. The lads put the effort in but it was a little bit misguided at times. We chased things we didn’t need to and we needed to show a lot more composure in possession.
“I don’t think we played out from the back enough.
“There were times when we got in good forward areas but didn’t pick the right option.”