“I don’t go by that.." Darren Moore rejects xG concerns at Sheffield Wednesday as Owls go one point from playoff places

Sheffield Wednesday sit a point from the League One playoff places despite – by the admission of their manager Darren Moore – having not yet played to their potential this season.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 3:00 pm

Lee Gregory’s goal was enough to put n uptick in their early season form in a win over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday as neither side managed to create much in the way of guilt-edged chances.

It has been a criticism of Moore’s rebuilding Wednesday this season that they haven’t scored enough goals in league football – only the bottom three have scored fewer – and the Owls are rooted in the bottom half in the division’s xG table, a metric that calculates where a side should sit in terms of the quality of the chances they have created and faced in each game.

Moore admitted his side needed to improve their attacking output but said xG was not a stat he put a great deal of energy into.

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Wednesday’s xG on Saturday was at 0.68 compared to the Trotters’ 1.02 as per renowned stats service Wyscout; the 1-0 scoreline, perhaps, is all that truly matters.

Asked prior to the Bolton win whether there are enough goalscorers in his squad, Moore replied passionately: “Yes, absolutely yes.

“Does the goals tally have to improve? Yes. Have we got players in the squad that can score goals? Yes, absolutely. Have opportunities to score goals been there? Yes. Have those opportunities to score those goals been taken? No.

“I always say that as long as we are creating the chances, I really believe there are people in the squad that can score goals.

Sheffield Wednesday captain Barry Bannan congratulates Lee Gregory on his goal in their win over Bolton on Saturday.

“Are we getting chances in games? Yes we are. Are we taking those chances? No we’re not, but we keep working and believing that we will score goals.”

Reminded of Wednesday’s place in the division’s xG table, Moore admitted it wasn’t a statistic he paid too much attention to.

“We have to improve on that,” he said. That’s a target there for us to improve.

“I don’t really go by those stats, I can’t afford to go by that. I don’t go by that.

“If it is a stat that you want to run with then we’re going to have to improve on that. It’s not one I go with personally.”