Sheffield Wednesday: Furious Owls boss Gray slams his side after 2-1 defeat to Ipswich Town

Despair: Owls Atdhe Nuhiu at the final whistle
Despair: Owls Atdhe Nuhiu at the final whistle

Furious Owls boss Stuart Gray branded their 2-1 defeat at automatic promotion contenders Ipswich Town as their worst performance of the season.

Second half goals from Daryl Murphy, the Championship’s leading goal-scorer, and Luke Chambers condemned Wednesday to their second successive away loss.

Wednesday led at half-time, against the run of play, thanks to Kieran Lee’s third goal of the campaign.

He said: “I’m gutted because that is probably the worst we have played this season.

“It started from the kick-off. We were in possession, gave Keiren Westwood a poor back pass and suddenly we were under the cosh.

“We got our noses in front and had a good opportunity to get the second goal.

“Kieran Lee did well for his goal. We had two or three decent breaks where we should be finishing it off.

“We were outfought and outbattled. We had too many who had an off day. I said to them at half-time I could have made several changes.

“They [Ipswich] played to their strengths. They kept putting the ball in the corners and recycling it and winning second balls. We lacked a bit of composure. They force errors. They close you down.

“We rode our luck. Murphy hit the post in the first half. I said to the players that we can’t keep relying on Keiren Westwood to pull saves off. We’ve got to protect him and defend better. We weren’t difficult to beat after going ahead. They won the second battles. My goalkeeper and back four couldn’t get a breather because there was no ball retention up front.”

Lewis McGugan was taken off with a calf problem. Gray expects the midfielder, on loan from Watford until the end of the season, to be fit to face Brighton on Saturday.

The Owls chief said they missed Glenn Loovens and Jose Semedo’s experience. Tough tackling midfielder Semedo missed the trip to Ipswich due to his on-going toe problem but Gray hopes he will recover in time to take on Seagulls.