Sheffield Wednesday: Under-23s manager Neil Thompson praises performance after 5-1 win over Crystal Palace
Sheffield Wednesday Under-23s boss Neil Thompson heaped praise on his side’s second half showing after they hammered Crystal Palace at Hillsborough this lunchtime, winning 5-1.
After being level pegging at 1-1 at the break, with Palace’s Gio McGregor cancelling out Alex Hunt’s early opener, Wednesday discovered their shooting boots in the second half scoring through Liam Shaw (2), Conor Grant and substitute Omar Damba.
The victory halted a two-match losing run for the young Owls and Thompson, who fielded a strong line up consisting of Joe Wildsmith, Daniel Pudil and the returning Gary Hooper, was delighted with the second half showing.
“I am really pleased with the second half,” said Thompson. "I thought we had a lot of the ball in the first half and we just didn’t move it quickly enough.
“Although we were in the ascendancy, conceding a sloppy goal wasn’t great. We just needed to move the ball quicker and ask a few more questions of them.
“We asked the players to do that and in the second half they did that and subsequently we got a few goals too.
“That was really nice to see.”
As well as being full of praise for his side’s collective performance, Thompson was also happy to see Hooper make his long-awaited return to match action.
The striker, who has not played at first-team level since December 2017, stored a valuable 45 minutes under his belt before being taken off at half time and being replaced by Damba.
Thompson continued: “It was good to see him back on the pitch.
“He is finding way back and he got through the 45 minutes which was the plan.
It was good to see him back out there today.”
The Wednesday development squad chief also spoke of how is now keen to see his side build on this performance, starting with next week’s trip to Barnsley.
“We want to build on this, of course,” added Thompson. “We have had a bit of a bitty season.
“We have conceded a lot of sloppy goals and not scored enough although we have created a lot of chances.
“We have not been clinical at both ends of the pitch. We have had a bit of upheaval in terms of one or two moving into the first team area, not only at this club but at other clubs.
“But we have played okay in spells, we have just not done the fundamentals and the basics well enough. We did today though.”