George Byers’ Sheffield Wednesday change explained after Danny Röhl met with Marvin Johnson

Danny Röhl’s decision to replace George Byers at half time was one that raised eyebrows amongst Sheffield Wednesday fans.
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The midfielder had put in a strong performance in the opening 45 minutes against Blackburn Rovers, performing an important role in the centre of the field, so his departure from the field left some concerned that he’d picked up an injury.

Wednesday’s manager, however, has dispelled any concern over his fitness, explaining that the decision was a tactical one rather than a forced one, the German opting to change the setup by introducing Marvin Johnson in order to counter an area that he thought the visitors were having a bit too much joy.

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“It was just to make a change,” Röhl explained. “And it wasn’t about his performance - we changed the shape in the second half. We did it because I had the feeling that the opponent was very strong in some areas and so we closed the pocket.

“I subbed Marvin in, and it was the reason he played at wingback. So I had to decide somebody to come out, and yeah, it wasn’t about his performance - it was just a tactical thing.”

The Owls boss also went on to praise Johnson, who got the vital second goal, for his show of improvement since returning to the fold, revealing that he’d had a one-on-one with him before the game.

He went on to say, “I had a meeting with Marvin, and he’s now made the steps forward that he had to do. He’s now in the duels, winning duels and balls, and he’s been really good. It’s a big step forward for him.”

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It’s now two games on the bounce that Röhl has made changes that have come to fruition for the Owls as they picked up four points from six against Leicester City and Rovers, and they’ll be growing in confidence as they head to Stoke City this coming weekend.

Wednesday’s manager will be pleased not to have another ‘English week’ ahead of him given the lack of midweek fixture, and it will give his players a bit more time to recover as he contemplates how to set them up at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.