Lee Bowyer praised his injury ravaged squad for their showing in their 3-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at The Valley.

With an already depleted squad through injury, illness to two players on match day left Bowyer only able to name five players on the substitute bench.

Ben Purrington and substitute goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer fell foul of sickness the morning of the game while Albie Morgan was another who was touch and go whether he would play.

Bowyer himself admitted he wasn’t feeling 100% on the sideline with the bug rife amongst his players.

“Don’t come near me in case I’ve got it," he said.

“It’s a bit of everything, sickness, diarrhoea, it’s not good!

“With the injuries we’ve got, and we’ve got enough of them, but to chuck in a few illnesses as well!” Bowyer said.

“It was a good thing we were playing at home because the sub goalie went ill this morning, so we could bring in a young kid (Nathan Harness) living up the road.

“If we were at Wigan today we wouldn’t have a sub goalie!

“Ben Purrington fell ill just before we got the coach, we had to send him home.

“Albie was being sick just before the game, we can do nothing about that, so we saw how he went, but he was sick at half time, so had to take him off.”

'Wasn't much in it'

Despite the catalogue of setbacks, Bowyer was left praising his men despite going down to a Steven Fletcher brace and a late Adthe Nuhiu header.

Macauley Bonne had levelled the tie in the first half and it wasn’t until the ten minutes before the end Wednesday took the lead they weren’t to relinquish as Fletcher struck home a penalty.

“I hate losing that’s obvious, but I’ve told my players to hold (your) heads up high and be proud of the team performance they put in, they can’t give any more.

“It was 80-minutes before the penalty and we were in the game, there wasn’t much in it until then.

“First half they caused problems and we looked nervy.

“Second half they got on top a bit but we changed shape and it was even until the penalty pen.

“We got a group where a lot of them haven’t played Championship football before.”