Alan Biggs on the big problem Sheffield Wednesday must solve in absence of key pair

Sometimes we can say here what a manager can’t. Bemoaning the absence of injured players is taboo in Darren Moore’s position.

By Alan Biggs
Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 12:00 pm

It smacks of excuses, not least of providing them in advance for those who are playing.

Read More

Read More
Former Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa icon Benito Carbone 'has applied' for...

But it’s right that the rest of us make allowances - as the supporters of Sheffield Wednesday are doing - when a result in these circumstances doesn’t match a performance.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing misses a one-on-one with Rotherham keeper Josh Vickers. Photo: Steve Ellis

This is a game about scoring goals and Wednesday have two of the very best at third tier level in Lee Gregory and Josh Windass.

Take both out, for however long, and defeats like the one harshly inflicted by leaders Rotherham United last weekend are easy to explain.

The hard bit is to find a solution in their continuing absence, starting with the midweek Accrington visit that took place after this was written.

Without the key pair, the Owls simply don’t have anyone you can hang your hat on in the scoring stakes.

Switching the most dangerous attacker, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, from wide to central worked up to a point against Rotherham.

His failure with the one big chance showed, as had been evident in earlier games, that he is not a natural finisher.

But, one way or another, this is the player most likely to unlock tight games and his licence to go wide to either flank from a forward position gave him menace further up the field.

Maybe Moore can get more bodies in the box from midfield to support this if the experiment continues.

Certainly Wednesday urgently need to find a solution somehow to maintain their top six push.

Jack Hunt and Marvin Johnson are offering solid support in the wing back positions. We also know that central midfielders Barry Bannan, Massimo Luongo and George Byers have some scoring capability.

Between them all lies the responsibility to make up for a serious shortfall.