Sheffield Wednesday: Flexibility of Darren Moore over use of Barry Bannan should serve Owls well

OVER the course of a long, hard nine-month marathon for Sheffield Wednesday, the trick regarding Barry Bannan might not necessarily be when manager Darren Moore utilises him.

It may actually be more a case of when he doesn’t.

The talismanic qualities of the Owls captain do not need to be spelled out. But sometimes amid three-game weeks which crop up regularly on the league circuit, a spot of rest can refresh a player for key challenges ahead.

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In that vein, Bannan was named on the bench in Tuesday’s win at Wigan, with Moore electing not to risk him due to a minor knock he picked up on Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town.

TALISMAN: Sheffield Wednesday's captain, Barry Bannan. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA

His presence on the bench led to Moore changing formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1, with Callum Paterson handed a floating role supporting lone forward Lee Gregory at the DW Stadium and it worked a treat in a 2-1 victory.

It also showed a certain tactical flexibility on the part of Moore, while indicating that Wednesday can operate successfully, when the need arises, without the on-pitch presence of Bannan, who turns 32 in December.

Moore said: “Barry is fine. If he had to come on, he would have played his part for the team.

“We were grateful we didn’t have to bring him on. He will be well recovered and ready for the weekend.”

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA

On the display of Patterson, who found the net for the first time this term as Wednesday secured their first triumph in five league matches, the Owls chief added: “I am really pleased for him because he has had to be patient. He put in a shift for the team and he played the role well that we asked him to play.

“Credit to him and I am pleased for him, You look at his sidekick in Lee Gregory and I thought he was absolutely superb.

“What we are trying to do with the players is adapt and play in different positions for the team. It is ‘horses for courses’ in this league and we have to be prepared for all situations.”

Tuesday’s victory also painted goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell in a positive light again after his horror moment at Portman Road on Saturday, but Moore insists that he has never had a moment’s concern about the mindset or aptitude of the Burnley loanee in its aftermath.

Sheffield Wednesday striker Lee Gregory was praised by Darren Moore for his performance against Wigan on Tuesday night. Picture: Isaac Parkin/PA

He commented: “I have got no doubt with Bailey and his stature. I’ve said it before that he will play in the Premier League and be an outstanding player. We are very grateful to have him.

“He showed his class in terms of being calm in a situation. He pulled off the saves (at Wigan) and he has a wonderful stature about him. He was excellent.”