Sheffield Wednesday target positive ending as they overcome wasteful finishing to end losing streak at Queens Park Rangers

No Championship team has scored more goals on their travels this season than Sheffield Wednesday.

Dominic Iorfa celebrates opening the scoring for Sheffield wednesday at Loftus Road. Picture: Steve Ellis

They have netted 36 goals in 22 games, although after spurning chance after chance against a woeful QPR on Saturday, they could – and should – have broken through the 40-goal barrier.

Josh Windass, who terrorised Rangers’ defence all afternoon – continually finding space, running beyond the back line – admitted on Twitter after the game he should have had a hat-trick.

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It wouldn’t have been a surprise if the forward had walked away from Loftus Road with two match balls.

As it was, the 26-year-old’s only reward came in first-half stoppage time as he stooped to head home Alessio Da Cruz’s corner from six inches out.

That doubled Wednesday’s advantage – Dominic Iorfa had fired the Owls in front after four minutes – before substitute Jacob Murphy completed the scoring with 13 minutes remaining.

But, the 3-0 scoreline fails to illustrate how Wednesday dominated this game.

Tom Lees headed over, unmarked from Barry Bannan’s free-kick, while Windass was thwarted with the goal at his mercy by a superb block from Osman Kakay after a fine run from Da Cruz.

Josh Windass celebrates scoring Sheffield Wednesday's second goal at Loftus Road. Picture: Steve Ellis.

In the second-half, Windass twice broke clear of the Rangers defence but failed to beat goalkeeper Joe Lumley.

First Windass – on loan from Wigan Athletic – blazed over the crossbar then, 90 seconds later, saw Lumley get a hand to the ball as he attempted to dribble around him.

But having gone into the game on the back of three successive defeats – against West Brom, Preston and Swansea – any sort of win was welcome for the Owls.

“It was important for us to get the win,” admitted defender Iorfa. “Since we have been back from lockdown, we have had some good performances but we haven’t been clinical enough.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk celebrates the 3-0 win over QPR with goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith. Picture: Steve Ellis

“We got a clean sheet, Joe (Wildsmith) wasn’t tested, which was really good, scored three goals and it should have been more.

“Today was back to basics, defensively we were more solid. Coming back (after lockdown) it’s been like a fresh start.

“We started off well against Forest, our first few games were good, then against Preston and Swansea it was a bit down, but today was a massive boost.

“The problem this season is we have been inconsistent, when we perform on our day we are a match for anyone – but that hasn’t happened too much this season.”

Sheffield Wednesday's Massimo Luongo battles with Rangers Dominic Ball. Picture: Steve Ellis

The Owls are now 10 points clear of relegation, with three games remaining, starting with tomorrow’s visit to Hillsborough of Huddersfield Town.

“We have three games left now, we just need to finish as high as we can,” said Iorfa. “We have to win that game (Huddersfield), because if we don’t then it’s back to square one.”

Wednesday opened the scoring on four minutes, but they needed three bites of the cherry to get the ball in the net.

Windass saw his free-kick parried out by Lumley, Massimo Luongo smashed the rebound against the post, before – third time lucky – Iorfa picked his spot.

Windass and Da Cruz formed an impressive partnership up front, and the pair were involved in the Owls’ second goal, Windass heading in after the latter’s corner was flicked on at the near post.

The game seemed long over, before Murphy pounced on Bannan’s exquisite pass to curl in Wednesday’s third goal, to relieve some of the pressure on Monk. It was just the fourth Championship win in 2020 for an Owls team who sat third on Christmas Day.

“The whole team is behind him (Monk),” Iorfa said. “As you can see from our performances, especially since we’ve come back, everyone is fighting for the manager, everyone is working 100 per cent, but sometimes there are just little mistakes – today we didn’t make any, and that’s important.

“Over the course of this year we’ve made too many mistakes and been punished, and down the other end we haven’t been clinical enough.

“Today was a perfect blend of both – solid at the back, no mistakes, and took our chances.”

QPR: Lumley, Masterson (Oteh 33), Cameron, Barbet, Kakay, Amos, Ball (Clarke 60), Manning, Eze, Shopido (Chair 60), Osayi-Samuel. Unused substitutes: Kane, Rangel, Bettache, Kelly, Gubbins.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Iorfa, Lees (Shaw 75), Borner, Odubajo, Hunt (Pelupessy 61), Bannan, Luongo, Harris, Windass (Nuhiu 75), Da Cruz (Murphy 55). Unused substitutes: Dawson, Rhodes, Reach, Brennan, Hughes.

Referee: O Langford (West Midlands).

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