Sheffield Wednesday 1 QPR 1: Owls suffer double injury blow in stalemate

Owls Barry Bannan
Owls Barry Bannan
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Sheffield Wednesday picked up their first Championship point of the season at Hillsborough - but it came at a price.

The Owls lost captain Glenn Loovens and midfielder Sam Hutchinson inside the opening 24 minutes, as they fell behind to a Jamie Mackie first-half strike.

Pre-match, the absence of striker Fernando Forestieri - reportedly involved in a training round bust-up - dominated talk inside Hillsborough.

The Owls - who saw Hutchinson limp off injured after 12 minutes - had two early chances in the opening 20 minutes.

First, Daniel Pudil headed over at the far post, then an unmarked Jordan Rhodes headed straight at Alex Smithies in the Rangers goal.

Mackie fired QPR in front, after some sloppy play from the hosts, and Wednesday’s troubles mounted as captain Loovens was forced off injured after 24 minutes.

Striker Sam Winnall came on, as the Owls rejigged their formation, and the former Barnsley player should have equalised but fired wide after good work from Adam Reach.

The Owls were level straight after half-time, as Winnall stroked the ball home after a left-wing cross evaded the Rangers defence.

Barry Bannan’s free-kick was deflected over, while QPR substitute Kazenga LuaLua spurned a glorious chance one-on-one with Westwood.

But despite an imporved second half display, the Owls were unable to scramble a winner and must now wait on the fitness of Hutchinson and Loovens.

Talking point?

Sheffield Wednesday have needed a centre-half for the last 18 months and Saturday highlighted that gaping hole in their expensive squad.

The injury to Glenn Loovens in the first half, meant the Owls had just one fit centre-half, in Tom Lees, on their books.

It forced left-back Daniel Pudil to stand-in as cover, and left the Owls short at the back.

Several transfer windows have gone and Wednesday have failed to sign a centre-half.

That needs to be remedied before the end of August if Wednesday are to challenge for honours this season.