Owls' run of defeats worst in 133 years

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The Independent Online

Sheffield Wednesday's beleaguered manager Paul Jewell saw his side's 1-0 First Division loss at Burnley as a welcome improvement - even though an eighth successive defeat signalled the worst run in their 133-year history.

Sheffield Wednesday's beleaguered manager Paul Jewell saw his side's 1-0 First Division loss at Burnley as a welcome improvement - even though an eighth successive defeat signalled the worst run in their 133-year history.

"Eight defeats in a row proves what a bad trough we are in, but the effort was there tonight even if the result wasn't," he said. "We had a lot of youngsters out there and considering the lack of firepower we were never going to get anything better than a 0-0. It is always disappointing to lose - but there were some good points and we've got to keep going."

The goal that proved decisive came from the Burnley striker Steve Davis in the 74th minute.

There was better news for the other half of the steel city, United beating managerless Huddersfield Town 3-0 thanks to two goals from David Kelly and another from Paul Devlin. The Terriers, who sacked Steve Bruce on Monday, have now gone 10 games without a league win.

If the Terriers needed proof that a change of manager can sometimes bring about a change of luck they should look at Portsmouth's revival under Steve Claridge. He celebrated his second win since taking over as player-manager after the departure of Tony Pulis, scoring the winning penalty in a 2-1 success against Crewe. Dario Gradi's men had taken the lead through Shaun Smith, also successful from the spot, but Thomas Thogersen levelled before Claridge struck the 81st-minute winner.

Mark Burchill, on loan from Celtic, scored two late goals as Birmingham City romped to a 4-0 win over Stockport, now without a win in 12 games. Stockport's problems were intensified when their goalkeeper Carlo Nash was sent off in the 89th minute for a second bookable offence.

In Scotland, Burchill's regular employers, Celtic, strengthened their grip on the Premier League summit with a 2-0 win over St Johnstone thanks to Joos Valgaeren and a Henrik Larsson penalty.

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