Sheffield Wednesday 0 Ipswich Town 1: Munoz says sorry to Owls fans after winless run drags on

Manager Xisco Munoz was forced to apologise to supporters after watching Sheffield Wednesday extend their winless start to life back in the Championship.

Conor Chaplin’s first-half winner for Ipswich Town means the Owls have failed to win in their first six league games of the season, and only goalkeeper Devis Vasquez’s heroics averted a heavier defeat at Hillsborough.

Wednesday failed to muster a shot on target all afternoon, fans chanted for owner Dejphon Chansiri to sell the club, while the players were booed off the pitch at the final whistle.

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Munoz said: “All I can say is sorry because I’m very, very disappointed about the first 45 minutes.

Xisco Munoz.Xisco Munoz.
Xisco Munoz.

“It is important the first 45 minutes. After that, the team had a good reaction, but not enough. I am very disappointed about the first half.

“We can speak about the positive things. It is true. We can speak about the reaction in the second half, but I don’t like what I see in the first half because we did not play at the level we are.

“This is one of the problems we have right now about the situation. We need to try and find a balance.

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“We need to stay 90 minutes in the game, 90 minutes with the personality, 90 minutes with the concentration, 90 minutes with ambition.

Devis Vasquez saves from another Ipswich attack.Devis Vasquez saves from another Ipswich attack.
Devis Vasquez saves from another Ipswich attack.

“For me, we need to give for 90 minutes the same level and the same intensity.

“I can say ‘so sorry’ to the fans today because I was very, very frustrated about the first half.

“If we don’t change, it is impossible to take the points because the Championship is a very, very, very high level.”

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The major news before kick-off was no Barry Bannan, the injured Owls captain replaced in midfield by new signing Jeff Hendrick, while the ‘Thank you Dejphon Chansiri’ banner which adorned the back of the Kop was spray painted and then taken down.

Callum Paterson, Sheffield WednesdayCallum Paterson, Sheffield Wednesday
Callum Paterson, Sheffield Wednesday

Ipswich and Wednesday were both promoted from League One last season, but the difference between the two clubs is clear to see.

While the visitors have consolidated under Kieran McKenna, Chansiri replaced Darren Moore with Munoz and the joy of Wembley seems a distant memory in S6.

Both sides were intent on passing out from the back, but it was the visitors who had the best opening on 14 minutes.

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Wes Burns broke clear, and his cross picked out Freddie Ladapo, but the former Rotherham United striker was thwarted by a fantastic save from Owls goalkeeper Devis Vasquez.

Wednesday had offered little in attack, and suffered another blow when defender Dominic Iorfa limped off on 28 minutes to be replaced by Di’Shon Bernard.

Ipswich failed to make the most of a breakaway after Owls defender Akin Famewo was left flattened, while Vasquez produced another fine block to keep out Burns, before Conor Chaplin dragged the follow-up wide.

The best Wednesday could muster in the first half was a 42nd free-kick, George Byers picking out Michael Smith who could only head over the crossbar.

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So it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead just before half-time.

A ball in behind Callum Paterson opened up the Owls down the flank, and Leif Davis’ cross picked out Chaplin who drilled the ball through a crowd of players.

Deep into first-half stoppage-time, Josh Windass saw his free-kick smash into the Ipswich wall.

Munoz made a double substitution at the break, bringing on Ashley Fletcher and John Buckley - the latter making his debut - for Smith and Lee Gregory.

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Vasquez was the only player standing between Wednesday and a punishing scoreline, the goalkeeper thwarting Harry Clarke’s close-range header, from Broadhead’s corner, at the start of the second half.

Chants of ‘Dejphon Chansiri, get out of our club’ started to swirl around Hillsborough, the home support growing frustrated.

At least the Owls perked up a little on the pitch with some sustained possession in the opposition half, even if they failed to test visiting goalkeeper Vacaville Hladky.

Ipswich substitute George Hirst - the former Owls youngster - twice spurned chances to double Ipswich’s lead. First he broke the offside trap, but chipped the goalkeeper, and the crossbar, before failing to get the better of Vasquez.

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It was all too pedestrian and predictable for the Owls, who failed to register a single shot on target.

In contrast, Vasquez had a busy afternoon, his last intervention keeping out the impressive Broadhead.