Sheffield Wednesday: More to Owls than brute strength

Martin Taylor is fighting for a place in the Wednesday side
Martin Taylor is fighting for a place in the Wednesday side
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Opposing managers keep saying that Wednesday are a very big side who pose a physical challenge.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray did just that, though not in a disrespectful way, after the Owls’ last game.

It is a fact that their size and strength can be a threat but there are those at Hillsborough who think that the team get too little credit for skill and speed.

Martin Taylor is himself a tall player but he says: “Some people from outside may think we’re reliant on having a big side.

“It’s probably something that stands out when clubs come to watch us.

“But there’s more to us than that, for example we have some quick, strong players, especially up top.

“Not too many have the pace and power of the forwards that we’ve got.”

Michail Antonio, Jermaine Johnson, Jeremy Helan and Jacques Maghoma, who like Taylor is still looking to hold down a place in the side, are not giants yet most form a key part of the team’s attacking strategy because of their pace.

Mowbray was quite complimentary about the Owls after the 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium and he acknowledged that they have some “very fast” players.

Reda Johnson certainly is one who makes physical presence count in the opposition’s penalty area, and Taylor admires his fellow defender’s goal-scoring knack:.

“Reda puts himself about. He’s always dangerous. It’s amazing how often he gets in the box, for a left back; I think the fact that Jeremy will sit in for him helps him a bit, because it means he’s got cover behind him.”

Taylor too has been a goal-scoring defender: he got 10 goals in his two years at Watford, but, with few first-team opportunities, has yet to get off the mark for the Owls, though he did score in pre-season games in Portugal and at Stockport.

But results for the club and a league place for him are top of his list:

“You keep yourself in the best possible shape and try to keep ticking over in reserve games; that’s not going to prepare you fully for league games, but you have to make the most of opportunity when it comes then you build up your match fitness by staying in.

“It’s been frustrating. I want to be playing; I gave a good account of myself in pre-season, so it’s been disappointing not to get a chance; all I can do is keep working hard and do the best I can.

“I’ve got a lot of belief in my ability and think that when I do get an opportunity I can stay in the team.”