‘Don’t call it a comeback..’ Praise for reborn Sheffield Wednesday forward linked with January transfer
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Pushed to the bench and unused entirely for four matches on the spin, the now 28-year-old may well have wondered on which axis his career had spun, just a couple of years earlier a player not long off the back of a relatively successful season in the Premier League and entrenched in the Scotland squad.
Staring into the rough-and-tumble of League One football from the sidelines, there is perhaps no wonder a player of his profile, attributes and dwindling contract has attracted interest from north of the border in recent weeks. It looked somehow certain Paterson would leave Wednesday – if not in January then in the summer.
But this is Sheffield Wednesday and twists in the tale come as second-nature.
A bustling December effort has seen the former Cardiff City man score a last-gasp equaliser at Exeter and start against Oxford and Port Vale to good effect. In between the latter, first half injury to Lee Gregory saw Paterson preferred over Josh Windass in replacement.
Don’t call it a comeback – perhaps he’d say in the parlance of LL Cool J – he’s been here for years.
It’s certainly the jist of what Darren Moore told The Star when asked of his u-turn re-emergence after Thursday’s win over Port Vale. As for January and beyond – who knows?
“Everybody has got a part to play here and I’ve said that to them all along; that we’ll use them accordingly and as we see fit,” he said.
“What we’ve seen is that this is his time to come in and play. You’ve seen a player who has been sat waiting patiently and has lots to offer us.
“I thought he was exceptional again tonight, he led the line and his energy and work rate was absolutely phenomenal. The one thing missing was a goal for him, but he’s been exceptional.
“Credit to him for the way he’s gone about his business. Really this is his time to come and step in. He did well after we lost Lee Gregory, I had no hesitation in playing him tonight and what a performance.”