'Best in the division' - Portsmouth boss highlights Sheffield Wednesday's biggest strengths

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Portsmouth’s Danny Cowley was full of praise for Sheffield Wednesday's ‘athleticism and power’ after Portsmouth’s 4-1 defeat.

The Owls fell behind early doors at Hillsborough on Saturday, but fought back to claim a 4-1 victory thanks to goals from Lee Gregory, Saido Berahino, Jordan Storey and George Byers – a win that saw them clinch fourth place in the play-offs and set up a semifinal against Sunderland.

Cowley felt like his side got off to a good start as George Hirst scored the opener, but admitted that the Owls had too much for them in the end.

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“We’re disappointed,” he told the media. “We were in a good place, the first 20 mins we had good control, but I want to credit Sheffield Wednesday. They’re a top team at this level, they’ve got players that should never be playing in League One. They’ve got an athleticism and power that’s the best in the division. Once they got the first goal and the momentum we found it difficult… It was too much for us on the day.

"I thought we played quite well in the second half, made some chances but didn’t take them.

"In a packed out stadium like this you have to take those chances - and we conceded three set pieces. If you do those things then you won’t win football matches.

“They’re a good team. And I think we have to be realistic as a football club with where we’re at in comparison to the top teams in this division.”