Garry Monk felt Wednesday fully deserved the three points which took us up into third place in the Championship after a controversial late Barry Bannan penalty sealed a 1-0 Sunday lunchtime win over Bristol City at Hillsborough.
The victory signalled our fourth success in the last five games, taking us a point clear of the rest of the congested play-off chasing pack and eight points adrift of second-placed Leeds.
Monk said afterwards: “We knew it was going to be a tough game. Overall, in terms of chances created and pressure we deserved to win the game.”
The after-match stats show Wednesday having 15 shots, with six on target, while Bristol City managed just three attempts and only one on goal.
The Owls boss said he felt it was the type of tight game we might have lost in the latter stages a few months ago, due to an error or shooting ourselves in the foot, but the team has learnt from such situations and we were pushing the opposition into errors.
He added: “If anyone was going to win the game we felt it was going to be us.
“In the first half the tempo wasn’t high enough in terms of urgency of moving the ball.
“In the second half, we did so, We started to get in more dangerous situations, we had good pressure on them and didn’t suffer too much on our goal, apart from one when Palmer cleared off the line.”
The decisive moment came five minutes from time when City’s Tommy Rowe was harshly judged to have fouled Atdhe Nuhiu in the penalty box, although Monk said he felt it was the right decision. Bannan stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and sent Daniel Bentley the wrong way.
Wednesday were without in-form striker Steven Fletcher. who was ruled out through illness, and that showed in the first 45 minutes with the team missing his energy, movement and goal threat.
We almost fell behind inside the first 20 seconds, Callum O’Dowda firing wide when well placed, while Wednesday’s closest efforts of the half came when Palmer saw a goalbound effort blocked and Adam Reach fired into the side-netting after an excellent through ball from Bannan.
There was a noticeable step up in pace from Wednesday after half time, with man-of-the-match Bannan having a shot blocked and then bringing a flying save out of Bentley from a free kick.
City’s only effort on target came early in the second half when Palmer cleared off the line from a header by ex-Owl Jack Hunt.
However, the breakthrough that our superior overall play deserved finally came with that late penalty to send us up into third place at the start of the Christmas period.
Dawson, Palmer, Iorfa, Lees, Fox (Börner 30), Reach, Bannan, Luongo (Pelupessy 90), Harris, Rhodes (Winnall 76), Nuhiu. Unused subs. Westwood, Lee, Murphy, Odubajo. Att: 23,180.