Four things Darren Moore needs to fix quickly if he's to keep Sheffield Wednesday up
Darren Moore is under no illusions that he faces a major challenge at Sheffield Wednesday, and there’s no time to settle in as he gets straight to work.
Moore was appointed as the new Owls manager on Monday morning after a busy weekend saw Wednesday approach Doncaster Rovers, get talks underway, agree a compensation package and land their man.
By Monday afternoon he was sat on a Zoom call with the press to discuss the next step in his career and the task that lies ahead.
First up is tomorrow night’s monster clash with fellow Championships strugglers, Rotherham United, but there are other tasks on the horizon that the new SWFC boss has to deal with if he’s to make a success of his time in S6.
After the 3-2 reversal at Luton Town, Neil Thompson admitted that there’s probably a level of fear that panics Wednesday if the tide starts to turn.
At 2-0, they were comfortable and in control. But when Luton got one back, there was almost a feeling of inevitably that they’d at least get back level. That’s where the fear comes in.
It’s the same reason why they’ve dropped 20 points from winning positions this season.
Moore spoke of the mental aspect of where Wednesday are at, and this feels like a huge element of their game that could potentially decide which league they’re in next season.
Another mental aspect that will be playing on their mind is their inability to fight back from a losing position. Moore has got to find a way of instilling into them that they’re good enough to get something out of a game when the chips are down.
It’s gotten to a stage now where opponents know that if they take the lead against Wednesday, they’ll win the game. SWFC’s zero points from losing positions is the proof of that.
Moore’s a player’s manager. He’s about players buying into what he’s got to say, and his job at Wednesday is as much mental as it is physical.
With every manager, he’ll have his preferred formation when it comes to how he wants to play. For Moore, that’s a 4-3-2-1. He played it in almost every game at Rovers, and for spells at West Bromwich Albion, too.
But you can only play a formation if you’ve got the players to suit it. And the new Wednesday boss certainly hasn’t got much time to impose a whole new way of playing upon his new troops.
So he needs to decide whether to stick or twist. To try and make tweaks to make the current setup work better, or start afresh with the limited time available.
One saving grace is the upcoming international break, so at least then he’ll have some time to actually do some work on the training ground.
Wednesday have a LOT of players out of contract at the end of this season. A number of players, both senior and young, will see their deals expire come July, and they involved parties haven’t got much time to prove that it’s the right thing to do to extend.
Moore has to show why it’s worth staying at Hillsborough, and the players have to show they’re worth keeping. Ultimately, the manager needs to have the final say.