Sheffield Wednesday: Hunt jumps to the defence of Owls teammate

Atdhe Nuhiu
Atdhe Nuhiu

Jack Hunt has leapt to the defence of Atdhe Nuhiu after the Owls striker missed a penalty in their draw against Queens Park Rangers.

Nuhiu spurned a glorious chance to give Carlos Carvalhal’s side the initiative two minutes after half-time when Gary Hooper was brought down by Nedum Onuoha. The forward’s tame penalty was saved down low to his left by Alex Smithies.

It proved a costly miss as Daniel Tozser lashed in a 57th minute opener before Nuhiu made amends, nodding in his fifth goal of the season. Hunt has refused to criticise Nuhiu, tipping him to make a key contribution in their promotion challenge.

“We are not going to blame Atdhe for that,” he told The Star. “He has been brilliant for us all season. It was just unfortunate we didn’t tuck that away and go on to win.

“After that, we conceded a sloppy goal but I thought Atdhe’s reaction to get the equaliser summed him up. His performance was generally very good. He will be hurting more than anyone inside but will dust himself down and be a big part of our side between now and the end of the season.”

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Wednesday were denied a second penalty late on after Kieran Lee went down under Grant Hall’s challenge.

“It was a stonewaller,” said Hunt. “I could hear it from where I was on the pitch. And I was a good distance away. I was just waiting for the referee to blow his whistle. Somehow, he didn’t.

“Even if I hadn’t seen the incident, which I did. I work with Kieran Lee every single day and he is not someone to run up and get in the faces of a referee to complain. You can tell from a player’s reaction if it is a penalty.”

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Of the team’s display, full-back Hunt added: “It was a very frustrating and disappointing night.

“The lads in the dressing room were hurting afterwards.

“We were untidy at times but I still felt we played well and were the better team. We should have come away with the three points.”

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