Danny Röhl responds to David Wagner's barb on Sheffield Wednesday's 'Tony Pulis' playing style

There’s no shame in a young coach being compared to a well-respected manager who picked up over 1,000 league points over 18 years at the top of the game.
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But there was something in the way David Wagner went about comparing Danny Röhl’s second half switch-up in style during Tuesday evening’s dramatic 2-2 draw between Sheffield Wednesday and Norwich City to that of former Owls boss Tony Pulis that delivered just a suggestion of sassiness.

As if keen to make the point, Wagner made the post-match comment three times in different media engagements after Wednesday sought to put the Canaries under pressure by utilising Will Vaulks’ long throw and going more direct in their approach. It told; they scored twice late on to secure what could prove to be a vital point, from set pieces through Michael Ihiekwe and Michael Smith.

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Asked for his response to Wagner’s comments, a jovial Röhl joked: “I am surprised you didn’t say ‘Hello Tony’ to me today!”

“For me, I am not a manager who speaks about the opponent. If you want to do this, you do this. It is not my direction. I like to speak about my team and what we can improve.

“For us it was necessary to make a change to come back into the game. I found a way to come back into the game and this is a quality for my team, for my coaches and for myself. We found a solution to come back in. That’s it. We take the point and that’s it.”

The second half provided another example of how this Wednesday squad has bounced back from moments of adversity this season. Booed off by a section of the home support at half-time, their successful assault on the Norwich box proved even more fruitful given results elsewhere in the relegation battle went the way of the Owls. With four matches to go and fellow battlers Stoke City next up on Saturday, they are level on points with Huddersfield Town in the first safety spot.

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“We are strong,” Röhl said. “After the game I told the players, the point was about the spirit, the energy, the belief. It showed again that we come back from setbacks, it was just 45 minutes but we came back.

“There was a moment in the game where they could have scored to make it 3-0. James (Beadle) was again in a good situation. He saved the goal and we were still in the game. You could feel it in the stadium, it was like a power play in the last 20 minutes and we forced through; corner, throw-in, duels in the box. This is what we had to do and I feel it was a key moment for us as a team. We take this positive energy, the positive things from the game and take it into the next game.”