Gillingham v Sheffield Wednesday: Owls need to improve set-piece defence to end Priestfield woes

IN his playing days, no-one could ever accuse Darren Moore of not standing his ground.

Those characteristics will come in handy for Sheffield Wednesday if they are to complete the minimum requirement this season, which is securing a play-off place.

Wednesday’s form has been on an upward curve during 2022, but some painful concessions from set-pieces have proved costly from time to time, with Accrington’s equaliser on Tuesday being a case in point.

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The Owls will need to learn lessons fast ahead of today’s game against a relegation-threatened Gillingham side who scored from a dead-ball situation early on against Doncaster Rovers last weekend and then shut up shop for the rest of the game en route to a precious three points.

Sheffield Wednesday's Massimo Luongo fires in a secon-half shot against Accrington. (Picture: Steve Ellis)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, much of the attention has been on defensive set-plays in the build-up to today’s game against a Gills side who frustrated Wednesday in a 1-1 draw back in November.

Owls boss Moore will also know full well that his side can ill afford more dropped points if they are to claim a top-six place.

He said: “We create scenarios on the training ground for those situations. But the truth of the matter is that, come Saturday, we just try for players to keep their focus, engage and stand their ground and defend the goal at all costs.

“In the last couple of days, we have been looking into that and trying to make sure we get better for the duration of the season.”

Owls boss Darren Moore. Pic Steve Ellis

The Priestfield Stadium has not proved a happy hunting ground over the years for Wednesday, who are without a win there on their last five visits in all competitions.

All told, the Owls have won just once in 11 games at the Kent venue and have never triumphed in the league there.