Sheffield Wednesday 1 QPR 0: Owls ‘in better place for promotion push’

Owls young keeper Cameron Stewart keeps a clean sheet on his full Wednesday embraced by Carlos Carvalhal at the final whistle

Owls young keeper Cameron Stewart keeps a clean sheet on his full Wednesday embraced by Carlos Carvalhal at the final whistle

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Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal says his team are well placed in the promotion chase after claiming seven points from a possible nine.

The only goal came in the 40th minute when Gary Hooper latched onto David Jones’s volley and shot past Alex Smithies in the QPR goal.

Carvalhal said: “My players have been unbelievable this week, against very difficult teams.

“I’m very happy about what my players did; it was special today.

“It was good to score the goal but with Gary Hooper and Fernando Forestieri, it is not just a question of goals. The way that they press is very important and they did that well today.

“The Championship is unique. The number of games, the crowds and the intensity – it is unique. And this is a situation we need to be able to play in.

“So far, all the teams have lost games and this can happen. There is not a big value difference between any of the teams.

“We are resilient and reacting well all of the time. We are in a good way in the league.

“We are more ready than last season; we are so far playing at a higher level than last season.”

The goal came after early chances for both sides; first, QPR’s Tjaronn Chery forced a smart save from Cameron Dawson and then down the other end, Forestieri saw his shot palmed away.

QPR chief Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink made three changes in the second half to try and force an equaliser. However, despite a chance for Nedum Onuoha from a corner and an effort from Chery at the end, the Owls defence stood firm to earn the three points.

Hasselbaink said: “I think we deserved at least a point from the game but that’s football.

“When anyone comes to Hillsborough they know they will be under pressure. They are a very good side, whoever comes here knows that. We had the pressure on us today but they didn’t work our keeper too much, he did not have many saves to make throughout the game.

“But nor did we create much ourselves. My players played well but didn’t create as many chances as we could have. At the end their keeper made a great save and that wins them the game.”

Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Hunt (Palmer 70), Lees, Hutchinson, Pudil, Bannan, Lee (Wallace 87), Jones, Reach, Forestieri, Hooper (Fletcher 74). Unused substitutes: Loovens, Kean, Buckley, Nuhiu.

Queens Park Rangers: Smithies, Perch, Onuoha, Caulker, Hamalainen, Borysiuk (Shodipo 80), Luongo, Chery, Gladwin (Wszolek 74), Washington, Sylla (Polter 64). Unused substitutes: Ingram, El Khayati, Henry, Kakay.

Referee: C Kavanagh (Lancs).

Man of the match: Barry Bannan.

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