Head coach Carlos Carvalhal cited tactical reasons for taking Aiden McGeady off at half-time in their surprise Hillsborough loss to Rotherham United.
The speedy wide man, on loan from Everton until the end of the season, made way at the interval for Portugal international Lucas Joao.
Although McGeady has struggled to make an impact since joining the Championship club, he controversially had a goal disallowed in the 35th minute when his shot deflected off defender Michael Turner, who was ruled offside.
Carvalhal told The Star: “Aiden was not playing bad. There are just other players who understand better the system we played in the second half.
“They have worked with us since the beginning and Aiden arrived a few weeks ago. We prefer to use a system that the players understand and have played more. We tried to change the score.”
Joao added an extra dimension to Wednesday’s forward line. His pace and athleticism stretched the Millers backline. He was paired with Atdhe Nuhiu up front while Gary Hooper was utilised at the tip of the diamond.
“Lucas gave us more energy and created chances,” conceded Carvalhal. “He’s now in good shape.
“He’s better than he has been in the last two months, which is good news for us.”
Ross Wallace, twice, and Joao spurned chances to rescue a result for Wednesday in the second period.
Carvalhal said: “The game was quite balanced at the beginning. Rotherham came to press us.
“We showed a natural reaction after they scored. We started to create more chances and had a goal disallowed. We didn’t play in the first half with the quality that we usually play.
“But in the second half when we put Lucas on we gave more freedom to Gary Hooper. We created chances but we just didn’t put the ball in the net. That was our problem.”