Owls looking to repay Hillsborough fans in derby

Liam Palmer.
Liam Palmer.
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Liam Palmer hopes Sheffield Wednesday can repay their fans with a derby tonic after enduring a nine-match winless streak.

The Owls host South Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham United on Saturday in the Championship, looking for just their second home league win of the campaign.

The latest Hillsborough setback came in a poor 2-0 home loss to Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

“After any defeat, you want to bounce straight back and get the win,” Palmer replied, when asked if the players owed the fans a performance after Tuesday. “It’s not always that easy. I think the performance needs to improve though, definitely.

“I am not sure our confidence has been knocked. I know we have had disappointing performances, in not winning, but we have had a lot of draws.

“We have shown some good character in games, it’s just about seeing games out when we do get in front and be a bit more ruthless.

“Up until the sending off (of Roysten Drenthe on Tuesday) we both had a few chances, and it was looking like one of those games where we might go on and nick it towards the end.

“When Roysten got sent off, against a team like Bournemouth - the way they pass it, they just ground us down. Even the first goal, a counter-attack from our corner, it’s not like they have split us open. It was disappointing.

“We do tend to defend, but we are having the chances. We have come up against some good sides at home, Watford, teams like that who have great attacking ability. That’s why it’s probably looked like we are always defending.

“We don’t set out to defend, we want to attack as much as fans want to see us, to score goals.”

Wednesday have performed better on their travels, and seem to play better as a counter-attacking unit.

With the Millers expected to be on the front foot, with a direct style of play, Palmer hopes the Owls can profit from that.

“We have the the quality on the counter-attack,” he said. “From what I have seen of Rotherham, a couple of times, they like to play direct, so it’s about winning those aerial battles.”

The Owls have actually only scored three goals at home all season in the Championship, and they all came from set-plays (two free-kicks and a corner).

Palmer though is not too worried about those statistics, and believes set-play goals are becoming more prominent in modern-day football.

“We just need to work the ball into good areas, get it wide and get grosses in,” said Palmer.

“But what I would say, is that free-kicks and corners are a big part in football these days.

“You see it in the big games, like Chelsea v Manchester United, where two goals come from set-plays.

“It can be said we have not scored from open play, but the way the game is going now, a lot of goals are now scored from set-plays.”