Reading v Sheffield Wednesday - Darren Moore needs positive results to change mood at Hillsborough

Before Rotherham United came along and burst their bubble with a last-minute-of-stoppage-time winner, there was a more positive feel to Sheffield Wednesday during Darren Moore’s first game in charge.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore. Picture: PA.

This is not the first time the former centre-back has taken charge of a team in relegation peril having done so at West Bromwich Albion, and rather than digging in grimly for results, his approach has been a positive one. It reflects the friendly giant’s outlook on life. The most important thing in a relegation battle the Owls will resume at Reading this afternoon is results, but at least in the 2-1 derby defeat they created the chances they will need to convert to get out of the Championship’s bottom three.

“When you look at the heatmap compared to previous games, it’s what we want to see because it means you’re putting the opposition under pressure,” Moore points out.

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“When I look back at the seasonal stat for chances we created, we more than doubled that.

“We’re just trying to get to a level where we give these players a grounding and a platform to express themselves.

“We want to give them an arena where when they step out there they bring their ability, showcase their talent and show us all why they’re at Sheffield Wednesday,” he said.

“I’m sure the supporters would like to see that, a team fully committed to the football club but playing a brand of football we hope excites them when they come and watch their team. There will be continual, consistent work to get there and maintain that.”

The league position – seven points from safety with a game in hand on those directly above the dotted line – looks bleak but Moore has been quick to leap on the positives from midweek.

“The boys showed some great play and some good consistency to their play,” he stresses.

“There are areas where we will get better, we need to get better, that I spotted and identified,” Moore said.

“It was a tough one to take but we went about the game in the right manner to try to win. That commitment and endeavour needs to remain.”

As well as being a highly-talented manager, Moore is at heart a very good bloke, so the positive vibe has not been confined to the pitch.

“I’ve been getting around everyone from the groundstaff to the secretaries, receptionists, laundry, academy, security at the club, getting to know people,” Moore added.

“I like to know people by their first name (he makes a point of addressing journalists by them) and the jobs they do. There’s so many people working behind the scenes to equip and prepare the team. I’m able to highlight those areas and people who work day in, day out for their love of the football club and what I echo to those staff members is that the work they do is greatly appreciated. I always signal to keep up the work.”

There are positive things being put into place at Hillsborough but in the end, results will shape the mood.

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