Laws' Musings: Post-Sunderland
Wednesday boss Brian Laws reflects on the weekend defeat to promotion rivals Sunderland - insisting no team could have coped with the Owls' defensive problems.
Regular full-backs Tommy Spurr and Frank Simek were both suspended after picking up five yellow cards apiece, while John Hills, Richard Wood and Madjid Bougherra all failed late fitness tests ahead ofg the clash with Roy Keane's men.
The troubles meant midfielders Yoann Folly and Burton O'Brien had to fill in at right-back and left-back respectively - before Wednesday suffered further woe at the back with O'Brien and Graham Coughlan both going off in the first half, leaving midfielders Chris Brunt and Glenn Whelan to go back in to the back four.
Laws told the official SWFC site: 'I rarely look for excuses but we were up against it before a ball was kicked. No one wants to lose but Real Madrid and Barcelona couldn't win with three midfielders in their back four. It wasn't a true reflection of our team.'
And he went on to reveal his delight at the bumper Owls crowd who turned out at Hillsborough for understand the problems their team had and refusing to get on the players' backs.
He told BBC Sport:: 'We were always going to be up against it. We had three of our major defenders out and that hurt us. It was really tough and credit to the players for making a fight of it.
'The fans were forgiving and showed their intelligence. If we'd had a full squad available, they'd have had a right to have a go at us.'
The Owls now have ten days to work on the training ground ahead of the vital clash with Southamtpon at St Mary's a week on Wednesday - a break that Laws is very thankful for.
'There's not a lot I can take out of the game and I'll put it out of my mind. We've got ten days to recover and we'll have a true team out at Southampton.' he told the official SWFC site.