Ipswich Town v Sheffield Wednesday: Bailey Peacock-Farrell remains Darren Moore’s safe hands in goal

AN imposing figure on the pitch, Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s mindset is just as strong off it – in the considered view of Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore.

Owls keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell(Picture:  Steve Ellis)
Owls keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell(Picture: Steve Ellis)

Handling has to be exemplary for young goalkeepers to reach the top and it is not exclusively all down to what happens on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday or Wednesday evening for ninety-odd minutes in that respect either.

Coping with brickbats as well as bouquets in the same way in terms of not losing focus and possessing the right mindset is critical for keepers and the Sheffield Wednesday custodian has had experience of both in a short space of time at S6.

The ex-Leeds United player, 24 – signed on a season-long loan from Burnley, was feted for his early performances for the Owls – which saw him keep five clean sheets in all competitions and earn a nomination for the League One player of the month accolade for August.

Sheffield Wednesday's Bailey Peacock-Farrell celebrates his team's win at Rotherham (Picture: PA)

In the international break, he also saved a penalty in a World Cup qualifier for Northern Ireland against Switzerland to follow on from his spot-kick save for his club in the derby at Rotherham United last month.

The flip side over the past few weeks has seen Peacock-Farrell beaten three times in the Owls’ 3-0 loss at Plymouth and also make a mistake for Shrewsbury’s leveller in last weekend’s frustrating draw at Hillsborough.

His manager is not losing sleep and neither will the player.

Speaking ahead of today’s game at Ipswich – the first leg of a tough away double-header which sees the Owls visit Wigan on Tuesday – Moore said: “We’ve got no problem with Bailey, he has been absolutely superb and we are really pleased to have him on board. He is a top, top young goalkeeper who is more than capable of playing at the highest level.

Safe hands: Owls keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Picture: Steve Ellis)

“He has got a wonderful stature with a good size and presence about him and he has made some great saves for us and won us points already.

“He has represented his country at international level and is performing really well there. He can definitely play at the highest level in this country.

“He is as ‘solid’ as and his focus and determination has been spot-on and he has been exceptional. Everyone has clearly seen the talent and ability he has and long may that continue.

“With Bailey, it is just about that consistency of games and keep chalking them off one by one. But we know the talent he possesses and hopefully he can keep performing to those high standards in the coming weeks and months.”

Today’s meeting between two clubs who were founder members of the Premier League and used to dining at the top table of English football for many years is a reminder of not just how far both have fallen, but also the stature of League One.

It is a division which contains eight former Premier League clubs and while there is expectation on both Ipswich and the Owls, it is a pressure shared with others such as Sunderland, Portsmouth and Charlton.

Moore, whose side are without a win in three league games, commented: “It is a really competitive division and I don’t think any of us have seen a League One like this, which we can cast back to with some of the names in the division.

“A number of those have been operating in divisions higher than where they are today.

“There is a lot of excitement and anticipation in the league and we are where we are and the clubs are.

“Looking at ourselves, we solely want to make some headway in a competitive and exciting division and one where you will see teams take points off each other going forward.

“We want to be the best we can be.”

If circumstances have been different, it could have been Moore’s opposite number in Paul Cook who was present in the away dug-out at Portman Road today and not the home one.

The Liverpudlian applied for the Owls post last autumn, but was not considered with the job going to Tony Pulis.

The day after his full-time successor Moore was unveiled at Hillsborough on March 1, Cook was installed at Ipswich.

Ahead of today’s game, Cook upped the ante by saying that, in his eyes, Ipswich are ‘the best club in the league’, not that this particular match truly needed any more selling.

Moore added: “I know Paul really well.

“He is a good man and very experienced at the level and knows what he wants. His teams are competitive.

“He wears his heart on his sleeve and is ultra competitive.”