"There is quality there.." Sheffield Wednesday boss Neil Thompson answers questions on lack of firepower
Sheffield Wednesday caretaker boss Neil Thompson refused to make an excuse of the club’s under-fire recruitment record after he watched his side fail to score for a third consecutive game.
The stand-in boss, whose side registered only one shot on target in their 3-0 defeat to title-chasing Brentford on Wednesday evening, are still well within reach of safety, three points back on fourth-bottom Birmingham with a game in hand.
Thompson defended his players’ performance after the match and said that the 3-0 scoreline felt unjust.
Heading into the January transfer window there was much talk about the need for reinforcement in the final third. Only holding midfielder Sam Hutchinson and Andre Green, back in training this week on his way back from an achilles injury, were added on free transfers.
But Thompson kept schtum on his feelings towards recruitment and asked where the goals are coming from, he said: “You have got to keep trusting them and they have to trust themselves and get on the front foot.
“It has turned before so we have got to try and flip it.
“The game was on a knife edge at half-time. We conceded a poor goal which we didn't need to. We had one or two opportunities and we didn't take them and it has been like that all season. We have not scored enough goals.”
Jordan Rhodes and Elias Kachunga have only three league goals between them this season but started up top in south west London as top scorer Callum Paterson, who has run himself ragged in previous outings, was dropped to the bench.
Asked whether he feels there is enough quality in the squad to stay in the division, the stand-in manager responded defiantly.
“The position we are in suggests not but I think you saw out there tonight that there is quality there,” he said. “No question.
“I thought we passed the ball with intent and switched the play quite a lot.
“But when you are down in the position we are in, things seem to go against you and they did a wee bit tonight. I don't think it was a 3-0 game by any stretch of the imagination but the fact of the matter is when you look at the result it was.”
On the decision to rest Paterson, Thompson said: “He’s put a lot of effort in over the last couple of months and it was to freshen things up a little bit.
“I thought Rhodesy worked his socks off and Kachunga did well in behind him but it is trying to find the right formula.”
Wednesday face important back-to-back games against Luton Town and fellow relegation candidates Rotherham United in the next week.
“It is not great when you have three defeats but that's football,” Thompson said on the confidence of the changing room.
“You have left with these challenges after every game when you get beaten and you have to drag yourselves up.
“We have not got time to think about it too much because we have got to move on as we have another game on Saturday. We have still got to go and perform.”