Sheffield Wednesday v Wigan Athletic: Dominic Iorfa aims to be at heart of Owls defence

Defensive duo: Dominic Iorfa celebrates his goal against Middlesbrough with Julian Borner. Picture: Steve Ellis
Defensive duo: Dominic Iorfa celebrates his goal against Middlesbrough with Julian Borner. Picture: Steve Ellis
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Dominic Iorfa is hoping to convince new Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk he should be a regular starter at centre-back.

The 24-year-old is playing under his third Owls manager – all central defenders in their playing days – after arriving at Hillsborough in January.

I think we understand each other’s game. I know what he is going to do and he knows what I am going to do as well. It is about building that relationship.

Dominic Iorfa

Brought to the club by Steve Bruce from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Iorfa has gone on to feature under caretaker Lee Bullen and now Monk.

Since Monk’s arrival, Iorfa – who has played the majority of his career at right-back – has been employed as a centre-back, alongside German Julian Borner, with captain Tom Lees sidelined with a hamstring issue.

Lees misses out again today – Wednesday believe he will be fit to return to action after the international break – but Iorfa is hoping his displays have done enough to convince Monk to keep him at the heart of the defence.

“It is developing well,” said Iorfa, with the Owls having conceded just three goals in Monk’s first four games in the Championship.

“I have come a long way since QPR (in August) where I was thrown in at the last minute and I hadn’t really played there (centre-back).

“You could see as a partnership that we didn’t really know each other’s games that well.

“I can say I didn’t really play well and I think he (Borner) can say the same.

“Since then, we have kicked on and we have put in good performances together. I think we understand each other’s game. I know what he is going to do and he knows what I am going to do as well.

“It is about building that relationship.”

Borner and Iorfa have certainly improved as a defensive pairing under Monk, but were at fault to allow Tom Eaves a free header to earn Hull City a 1-0 midweek win.

“We conceded a goal at Hull but other than that I think we have defended well together,” continued Iorfa.

“He has his strengths and I have mine. I am a bit quicker and can cover in behind him and he is a bit more solid in terms of position in that sense so I think we are complementing each other well.

“I have played the majority of my professional games at right-back.

“I am known as a right-back but growing up as a youngster I used to play at centre-half and when I broke through at Wolves they put me at right-back and I kind of established myself there.

“It is kind of like a new position. It is the first time in my career that I have actually had a run of games at centre-back so I am still learning the position.

“I feel I have shown in the last few weeks that I am getting better in the position and I think our performances suggest that as well.

“It is something I would like to settle down and try and cement a place as a centre-half.

“But, at the end of the day, I have played many games at right-back so we don’t know what will happen.

“I have got to keep performing and keep doing well and whatever happens happens.”

Iorfa – who netted in the 4-1 win at Middlesbrough last weekend – hopes the Owls can head into the international break in the Championship’s top six with a win today over Wigan.

“We are not in a bad position right now and we know if we can get a win it could leave us in the top six,” he said.

“It would be good to go into the international break in the top six. We are only a few months into the season so it is still pretty early. There are a lot of games to go. The table has not really settled yet.”

Monk’s unbeaten start to life at Hillsborough came to end with defeat at Hull, and Iorfa is hoping the Owls can quickly bounce back. “It was a tough one to take. It was disappointing to lose,” he said.

“I thought we deserved something from the game. We had good enough chances. Obviously, we had a good result at Middlesbrough so we wanted to kick on and try and get nine points from the week.

“It was disappointing to lose but now we are just focused on Wigan this weekend.

“We scored four goals in the first half (at Boro) and played really well and that is what we wanted to do at Hull.

“It was a different kind of game and it is hard to replicate every performance in the Championship.

“It was disappointing and we didn’t play to the best of our abilities.

“We have a home game this weekend and we need to kick on.”