Sheffield Wednesday: Owls learn their lesson

Leon Best shows determination though outnumbered by QPR opponents
Leon Best shows determination though outnumbered by QPR opponents
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They say that the older you get, the faster time passes - and I would have to agree, writes Paul Thompson.

The end of the season is only six weeks away and, to me, seems to be rushing towards us.

You’d think that with Wednesday on 45 points, in 14th place and having 10 games left, they are practically certain to stay up.

A finishing spot in the top half of the table looks entirely possible. But we all know what happens if a bit of complacency creeps in: you end up with a defeat as unacceptable as the one at Yeovil.

Wednesdayites of a certain age can also be hit by sobering thoughts at this time of year about the 1989-90 season when everybody thought the club were virtually safe, but they lost five of the last six games and went down.

There will be no calamity this time, judging by the current healthy position and the way the team reacted to the Yeovil game and performed against Wigan, Birmingham and QPR.

But the lesson from Huish Park is that the approach and attitude have to be spot-on, as they have been for the last three matches, as the Owls tackle a Doncaster team who are eight points below them. The Owls gave their own lesson to QPR: you’re in trouble if you lack work-rate and commitment.

Those qualities are even more essential if you go a goal and a man down. For all the QPR’s talent, they were found wanting in those basics, and it is easy to suspect that such lapses are the reason why they are off the pace in the promotion race.

Stuart Gray regards application as being of huge importance, and in general, this has shone through in his team during his reign as boss.

With the season’s end getting close, inevitably he has been asked about the longer term. It would be great, he thinks, if the squad can be strengthened in the summer so the club can have “a really good go” - as opposed, obviously, to a third successive relegation battle.

With a clutch of loan players currently in the club, 13 players out of contract this year, and the issue of a potential change in the club’s ownership continually lurking in the background, the crystal ball is cloudy.

But a finish with a flourish over the next six weeks would make this season even more memorable for the terrific revival under Gray.