Danny Röhl called for a big performance and got exactly that as Wednesday beat Birmingham 2-0 at Hillsborough.
After fellow strugglers Huddersfield emerged from last week’s basement battle with all three points, and an FA Cup defeat at Coventry, Röhl urged his players to hit back and this they did.
Iké Ugbo was the man of the moment, scoring either side of half time to give a welcome jolt to the Owls’ survival hopes.
Ugbo struck first on the 15-minute mark after James Beadle kept out a fierce Lee Buchanan hit at the other end.
Home debutant Ian Poveda was the architect, showing quick feet and a devastating turn on the angle to flummox his marker and put on a plate for Ugbo six yards out.
The fellow new recruit made no mistake with a low shot and Wednesday were in the driving seat.
Poveda was also proving a thorn in the Blues’ side and almost claimed a goal of his own.
This time the tricky forward left two defenders chasing shadows and his whistling drive was just past the post.
Poveda then teed up Ugbo again with a slide rule pass but the finish was inches off target.
Birmingham had two chances before the end of a lively first half. First Scott Hogan went close with a near post effort after good wing work from Buchanan, then the former got a touch to Siriki Dembele’s long-ranger but Beadle sprang high to palm wide.
Wednesday stayed on the front foot after the break and Ugbo fired over before doubling his tally and the lead on 53 minutes.
Barry Bannan combined with Marvin Johnson down the left and the hanging cross to the back stick was headed home emphatically by Ugbo.
The Owls made a triple substitution as Birmingham plotted a route back into the contest, but the visitors never really looked likely to break down a stern backline until the closing stages.
Beadle was called into action to deny Paik Seung-Ho with a flying save but that was as good as it got for the Midlanders.
For Wednesday, the marked improvement in performance yielded a valuable victory and the fight to beat the drop continues with a tough assignment at leaders Leicester on Tuesday.
Wednesday: Beadle, Valentin, Famewo (Ihiekwe 75), Bernard, Johnson (Pederson 88), Bannan, M Diaby (Vaulks 62), Poveda (Musaba 75), Gassama, Ugbo, Cadamarteri (Smith 75)