Date: 13th January 2008 at 12:22am
Written by:

One more defeat for the Owls, leaving them just a point above the Championship drop zone.

Another change of line-up for Brian Laws – it surprised many to see the want-away striker Leon Clarke return to the fray in place of Francis Jeffers, less surprising was the return of Steve Watson to the midfield, Jermaine Johnson being the one to miss out.

Cardiff showed their form and class early on, which the Owls did well to resist until, perhaps inevitably, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was the man to fire the Bluebirds into a lead they were not to relinquish.

The second half substitutions of new signing Ronnie Wallwork and Deon Burton almost pulled the Owls out of the mire, both players going close, but it was not to be.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones: ‘(Wednesday) are a good side and when we didn’t get the second goal we deserved it gave them hope. We should have been more than a goal up at the interval but we held on for the victory. Jimmy’s goal was a great move but we had to grind it out and some of the defensive headers were superb. A set play can always cause problems when you are only one up and every player had to dig in and battle hard. They are an honest bunch of lads, very athletic round the pitch, and some of our movement out of defence was absolutely superb.’

Brian Laws told the official SWFC web site: ‘We were disappointed because I felt we were a yard off the pace in the first and we allowed Cardiff to dictate the game before half time. In the second half we looked more alive and increased the pressure, we got closer to Cardiff and started to dominate periods. That change was required but we ended up chasing the game because we were a goal down. We should have dealt with it better because the goalkeeper came racing out and probably made it an easy decision for Hasselbaink but that is where quality tells in those situations.’

Laws also commented on his striker selection: ‘At the moment we are having a difficult period with the strikers because we can’t seem to get it settled due to injuries. Francis Jeffers was due to play but was feeling his ankle yesterday and limping so we felt it was too big a risk to play him in the game. Leon Clarke was fit and has been playing well so I felt he would be the right player for today’s game. The service he had was awful, he didn’t get a lot of service from anybody and it was all in dribs and drabs. In the second half we started to create more opportunities but that was just because we started getting closer to people.’

Worrying times.. off-field uncertainty, injury and the resulting inconsistency in the team line-up means Wednesday just can’t establish any kind of rhythm or continuity. Let’s hope a measure of stability can be achieved before the tough run of League games coming up, or the rest of the season will be one long hard struggle for survival.