Alan Biggs at Large: Why a Hillsborough legend believes Adam Reach will be a success at Sheffield Wednesday - no matter where he plays

Owls' Adam Reach
Owls' Adam Reach
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We don’t know if he can score goals with regularity. We do know he has a manager who obviously thinks that maybe he can.

Adam Reach, winger or striker? Discount left back, even though he started his Sheffield Wednesday career there, because Carlos Carvalhal has made it clear the club’s record £7m signing was bought as an attacker.

Terry Curran in his Sheffield Wednesday days

Terry Curran in his Sheffield Wednesday days

But which type? A winger in his favoured left-side role? Or a converted striker, as per his recent and impressive appearance in the 1-1 draw at Cardiff? Well, one big Hillsborough personality, who made exactly that switch, is convinced it can be the latter.

Terry Curran, of Boxing Day Massacre fame, was a winger at Doncaster Rovers early in his career – until, after a move to Nottingham Forest, a certain Brian Clough switched him through the middle.

It was from that position that Curran entered Wednesday folklore – across 138 appearances and 39 goals – as the destroyer of Sheffield United on December 26th, 1979, scoring one goal and creating two of the others in a 4-0 derby win.

Note that Terry wasn’t a prolific scorer – but he was a darting devil of a player who would repeatedly have the opposition on the back foot with his skill and pace. Now Reach may not be a fiery character in the TC mould but he does have some of the same attributes. And that has added to Carvalhal’s wide range of options.

“It can work and I do see Adam being a success with Wednesday,” Terry tells this column.

“As a kid I remember being allowed to play where I wanted and I didn’t like being out on the wing. But because of my pace Maurice Setters put me out there when I played for Doncaster.

“But I always wanted to be up front and one day, at Nottingham Forest, Brian Clough said to me ‘I’m going to play you through the middle.’

“In that position, you can go left or right. You can’t do that on the wing because defenders double up on you or force you back – whereas through the middle you can be more direct.

“And players who have good balance and control can go either way. Look at Thierry Henry after Arsene Wenger switched him through the middle at Arsenal. That’s when he really became a world class player.”

Reach is simply one part of an equation at Hillsborough which signals power to add. It’s not always what you see from a team placed fifth in the table; it can be what you don’t.

The consensus is that Wednesday have yet to play consistently at the top of their game this season and that there’s more to come. That’s what is exciting supporters the most.

n Terry Curran is a regular blogger on football. You can catch him at www.terrycurran11.net.