Bullen bemoans ‘lethargic’ performance against QPR

The Sheffield Wednesday caretaker boss was not happy with the effort on display at Hillsborough.

By Press Association Published: 31 August 2019 - 5.09pm

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Sheffield Wednesday caretaker boss Lee Bullen acknowledged how poor his side were in their 2-1 defeat against QPR at Hillsborough.

The Owls were awarded a penalty kick in the 23rd minute when Fernando Forestieri was clawed down by Grant Hall as a cross came in. Steven Fletcher stepped up and tucked away his third goal of the season.

Ryan Manning came close to an equaliser with a free kick which flew narrowly wide. Nahki Wells also threatened and tested Keiren Westwood with a tight-angled volley.

Jordan Hugill eventually equalised for QPR on the hour-mark. Wells’ exquisite through ball was collected by Hugill who rounded Westwood and passed the ball into an empty net.

The QPR turnaround was complete when Hugill (64) added his second. This time Manning beat the offside trap before his low cross allowed Hugill to comfortably slot home.

Wednesday were poor in the second half and only really threatened when a Barry Bannan cross carried all the way to the far post where substitute Atdhe Nuhiu was unable to direct the ball goalwards.

Bullen said: “I’ve been at the football club long enough to know the demand of the support and that performance, especially in the second half, was nowhere near acceptable for a club of this size.

“To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. It was lethargic, not enough movement, we didn’t move the ball quick enough, the two goals we lost you wouldn’t see in a playground.

“In the first half we had little spells when we did switch play and decided to get the ball out to full-backs. On occasions we did that, but we never done it enough, we never done it quick enough and in the second half we never done it at all.

“There’s no excuses, I decided to go 4-4-2 today at home we’d do well and take our opportunities but that never worked out and I will take responsibility for that.

“We can’t play at that tempo, we can’t take any game for granted in this league. If our players want to be successful they need to be mentally stronger than what they showed today.”

QPR manager Mark Warburton was pleased with his team’s victory and commended their mentality to come from behind.

Warburton said: “It was a tough venue against a really tough opponent, but I thought we had a strong performance today. I looked at the replay of their penalty and it’s fair to say it was questionable.

“But we went in at half-time and found ourselves 1-0 down but we had to do more of the same. We needed to move the ball a bit quicker, be a bit more positive with our decision making going forwards to create chances and I thought we did that.

“We had to defend our goal from their aerial presence and they’ve got good players here and we knew the threat they posed but we dealt with it really well – it was a deserved three points today.

“We’ve played very well in a couple of games and got nothing out of it. They know they can come to a place like this and score goals. Full credit to them, they’ve worked so hard on and off the pitch.”