'Disappointed' - Sheffield Wednesday's Harlee Dean opens up on Lee Bowyer comments and Birmingham City exit

Sheffield Wednesday's Harlee Dean was speaking to the media for the first time after his loan move from Birmingham City.

Friday, 28th January 2022, 2:13 pm

Dean was a regular at Birmingham, and club captain, until midway through this season, and he says that he was a bit disappointed with some of the comments about him being in a ‘comfort zone’.

The 30-year-old played 38+ games in all his seasons with the Blues after joining from Brentford in 2017, but after making 15 appearances at the start of the 2021/22 campaign he was left out by Lee Bowyer and then never really got a look-in again after that.

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Speaking on Friday ahead of what could be his debut game for the Owls against Ipswich Town, the centre back was honest in his assessment of the situation, saying, “I read about it, I think after a draw against Peterborough, and it disappointed me if I’m honest. He’s never said that to me personally, so to say it in the press I was a little disappointed.

"I was club captain and pride myself on leading by example day in, day out.

“Maybe he meant it in another way – maybe because the club has been in the same situation for like four years running and I’ve always been a main part of it. If we weren’t there, players like me and Lukas Jutkiewicz, perhaps we wouldn’t have stayed up. He’s trying to change the culture, he’s trying to change the dynamic with younger players.

“There was no issue between me and the manager at all, it was a business decision and they were open with that and I accepted it.

Harlee Dean joined Sheffield Wednesday from Birmingham City.

To be honest, I had a bit of a dip in form – the whole squad did – and as captain you’re not really allowed to do that, and I think the manager made an example of me, and rightly so.

“He said ‘If I can drop him, then any of you can get dropped’, and I understood that. But I did expect to get back in. Sometimes you’ve got to take it and work harder in training. The results started to turn bad, I had a conversation and asked what was going on. I started against Coventry, we kept a clean sheet, and then got dropped the next game.

“That was something that confused me, so I had a conversation and that was when they told me they were going down a new route and needed to cut the budget. And that was basically it – I respected their decision, football is a business and they needed to change things.”

Dean has played against Wednesday many times in his career, scoring at Hillsborough in the past, but he could well make his first appearance in the club colours at S6 this weekend as Darren Moore looks to shore up his backline with a bit of experience that the centre back clearly brings to the table.

Wednesday take on the Tractor Boys at 3pm on Saturday afternoon in an attempt to get back to winning ways.