Sheffield Wednesday 1 QPR 2: Keiren Westwood shows his worth to Owls

Keiren Westwood reminded Sheffield Wednesday supporters what they could be missing with a fantastic display against QPR.

Owls' Michael Hector nets from penalty spot. Pic Steve Ellis

Out of keeping in a typical end-of-season match low on quality, goalkeeper Westwood – out of contract this summer, but offered a new deal to stay at Hillsborough – produced three stunning saves to keep out Rangers, and also denied Eberechi Eze from the penalty spot.

No wonder home fans were chanting ‘sign him up’, but Westwood ultimately finished on the losing side as Matt Smith grabbed a stoppage-time winner.

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Josh Scowen prodded the visitors in front and the Owls were guilty of some woeful finishing – including Fernando Forestieri blasting a penalty high into the Kop – before defender Michael Hector showed his team-mate the way by converting Wednesday’s second spot-kick of the afternoon.

After the game, the Owls revealed they are releasing six senior players: Gary Hooper, Marco Matias, George Boyd, David Jones, Daniel Pudil and Almen Abdi.

But new deals have been offered to Westwood, Liam Palmer and Kieran Lee, while on-loan quartet Hector, Rolando Aarons, Achraf Lazaar and Josh Onomah all return to their parent clubs.

Midfielder Lee yesterday made his first start for 18 months due to injury, while Bruce is hopeful of thrashing out details for Hector’s return.

“We want to keep Kieran Lee here, I can confirm that,” said Bruce. “With a good pre-season under his belt let’s see if we can get him back to the player we know he is.

“I hope we can keep Keiren (Westwood), we have made him an offer.”

Certainly yesterday’s game will not live long in the memory.

“How many times have we seen these kind of games when there’s nothing to play for?” asked Bruce.

“It was a few steps up from a friendly at times. It was flat, low key and without any real passion.

“We played like that and got what we deserved, which was nothing.”

“It’s a mediocre finish (12th in the table) and not acceptable for a club like Sheffield Wednesday.

“The players have been fantastic since I walked through the door, I couldn’t have asked for anything more really.

“These last couple of games have seen a different intensity when it became clear we couldn’t make the play-offs. That’s football. We now look forward, we have a big summer ahead, so let’s see what we can do to give ourselves the best possible chance next season.”

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Hector, Fox, Matias, Pelupessy, Lee (Hutchinson 64), Forestieri, Joao (Nuhiu 64), Fletcher (Hooper 78). Unused substitutes: Winnall, Thorniley, Dawson, Penney.

QPR: Lumley, Furlong, Cameron, Leistner, Manning, Eze, Scowen, Luongo, Shodipo (Walker 61), Samuel (Hall 89), Smith. Unused substitutes: Ingram, Bidwell, Freeman, Wells, Bansal-McNulty.

Referee: A Davies (Hampshire).