Wednesday's overall defensive record in the league is poor this season as the club have conceded 43 goals in 28 games.
But Kirkland has taken heart from the recent run of form that has seen the Owls beat high-flyers Hull 3-1 away earlier this month, while they are currently on a run of five clean sheets from their last seven league games.
"The lads have been superb," Kirkland said. "We've tightened up and done well on the training pitch. We've got a long way to go, but if we keep a few more clean sheets and keep up the attacks we'll win games.
"We got into a rut at the beginning of the season and it's hard to get out of. That's gone now.
"We've got ourselves in a tough situation and the only way we're going to get out of it is by doing what we've done in the last seven-eight games. If we do that for the remaining games, we'll be ok."