Jos Luhukay believes his side are lacking belief and confidence following his side's 2-1 defeat against Ipswich Town

Jos Luhukay believes his side are lacking belief and confidence following his side's 2-1 defeat against Ipswich Town

The Owls' manager was left concerned with the lack of belief and confidence shown by his side in the 2-1 defeat to Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening.

Sam Straw

Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay was left concerned by the lack of belief and confidence shown by his side in the 2-1 defeat to play-off hopefuls Ipswich Town on Tuesday evening at Hillsborough

Luhukay's side had the opportunity to get back to winning ways in front of their home support after an uneventful first-half in which neither side had many clear cut opportunities. 

However, in the second-half they were once again punished for poor defensive mistakes as Martyn Waghorn scored twice either side of a Lucas João equaliser for the hosts which condemned the Owls to their fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions.

Luhukay feels his side lacked belief throughout: "I think over 90 minutes we saw a team that did not believe in themselves or have the confidence to play offensively. I think over 90 minutes it was only two or three chances that we had. It was not enough to get a result."

He added: "Ipswich also had three chances and scored twice. It was a fantastic free-kick for the second goal."

Are the Owls in trouble?

Luhukay believes it was very difficult for his side to recover from the 4-0 defeat to Bristol City last weekend in the space of two days but feels this was a perfect opportunity for his side to get back on track. 

He said: "When you win today then it changes the situation so in this period you must win games to come back. This team can play better as we have seen. The players must stay together and they must try to come back from this situation."

Fortunately for the Owls, Sunderland, Burton Albion and Birmingham City all lost once again and due to the fact that they are the three teams currently occupying the relegation places, Luhukay's side remain seven points clear of the drop zone. However, this could change at any moment and Luhukay is aware his side must start to pick up results. 

He said: "The distance is the same but we must look at ourselves at not the other teams. We had an opportunity today to take a big step forwards in the position in the league. We have a new chance on Saturday for a better situation."

He added: "We have in the first few weeks made very good progression."

The Owls' performance against the Tractor Boys was not as good as the one they produced against Aston Villa in the 4-2 defeat two weeks ago or the performances they produced against Premier League side Swansea City over two games in the FA Cup

If they had been able to produce that type of performance against Mick McCarthy's side in this match, then they may well have been coming away with a more positive result. 

Players slowly returning to action

This match saw defender Tom Lees start for the first time in a significant amount of time following his lengthy injury. However, Luhukay was reluctant to comment on his performance alongside captain Glenn Loovens as the pair did not look particularly convincing throughout. 

He said: "We win together and we lose together. My players and my team try to give their best. They must believe in each other. The second goal you have to credit the player form Ipswich Town. It was his eleventh goal of the season and for that free-kick you cannot blame any player."

Luhukay opted to name a midfield partnership of David Jones and Jacob Butterfield for this match despite recent impressive performances from Joel Pelupessy and youngster Sean Clare. Butterfield has struggled to make an impact since arriving on loan from Derby County and Luhukay was again reluctant to comment on individual players.  ​

He said: "They have played more together so you must make decisions form the last games. I think we must help each other."

The 54-year-old manager also revealed that the decision to leave Clare out of the starting line-up was because he had "a bit of a problem with his foot". However, he hopes that this will not be a problem for the midfielder in the next few days. 

The Owls boss remains confident that his side can retain their Championship status with "not a lot of games left to play". He hopes that both Joost Van Aken and Sam Hutchinson will feature for the Under 23 side this Thursday and is relieved that some of the squad's key players are gradually starting to return. 

He said: "Hopefully in the next few weeks we get some more players back."

The Owls face a massive clash against fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon at Hillsborough which could be a defining match in their season. If Luhukay's side were to be defeated for a sixth match in a row, then there would be serious cause for concern over relegation to League One