How Sheffield Wednesday 'got what they wanted' out of Alfreton Town run-out

Sheffield Wednesday ‘got what they wanted’ out of Saturday afternoon’s pre-season run-out at Alfreton Town, said the man in charge on the day.

Owls assistant boss Jamie Smith stood in for Darren Moore, who missed out as his recovery from minor surgery on his knee continued.

And Smith, flanked by first team coaches Wayne Jacobs and Simon Ireland, watched on as two separate XIs played out 45 minutes each on the way to a goalless draw.

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Sheffield Wednesday assistant manager Jamie Smith stood in for Darren Moore at Alfreton Town.

Wednesday had the better of the chances and would have won the game were it not for a couple of handy saves by the Alfreton goalkeeper George Willis.

Willis was the likeliest contender for a man of the match award on a day that was more about getting miles in the legs and against a big, physical Alfreton side, Smith was happy with the day’s work, especially as it ended without any injuries to the Wednesday squad.

“It was good to get the first 90 minutes under the belt,” Smith told swfc.co.uk.

“It’s all about the physicality at this stage and we got what we wanted this afternoon.

“It was a good workout for us, obviously you could see some rust out there on both sides, you need at least three or four games to really get into your stride.

“We’ve come out of it with a clean bill of health, no injuries and that’s equally important.”

Michael Smith, Michael Ihiekwe and Ben Heneghan were able to make solid debuts for the Owls and the midfield dominated possession.

But despite a handful of close calls, they were unable to put the gloss on the run-out by scoring against a dogged Alfreton side.

“We showed some nice patterns of play at times,” Smith said. “We could have scored one or two goals but it wasn’t about that today, it was about getting minutes into the players.

“It was always the plan to play two different teams in both halves and we’ll ramp it up as pre-season progresses.

“We have got two games a week now and the minutes will ramp up from 45 to 60 and 60 to 90 to get us ready for the start of the season.”