Sheffield Wednesday chief Steve Bruce hints at tactical tweaks as he looks to the future

In a little over two weeks into his new job, Steve Bruce has already demonstrated he is prepared to tweak Wednesday's game-plan to gain a tactical edge.

Monday, 18th February 2019, 09:31 am
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 09:37 am
Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce

The Owls manager sprang a big surprise with the make up of his midfield in their goalless draw at Millwall last weekend.

Barry Bannan, primarily a central midfielder, was stationed on the left wing in the first half. The diminutive Scot performed well in that position in Carlos Carvalhal's first year in charge.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce

But the tactical change backfired as Bannan, in his 150th outing for the club, was starved of possession and failed to influence proceedings.

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Recognising that the balance was not right in that department of the team, Bruce took Joey Pelupessy off at the interval and moved Bannan into the centre. Bannan looked far more comfortable and assured in the middle of the park. His energy and ability to dictate play helped the Owls get a foothold in the contest.

"I tried something which in hindsight did not quite work," acknowledged Bruce. "But we changed it and were better in the second half.

"I am learning too. I take notice of what happened at Millwall. As soon as we put Barry back in the middle, we were better."

Bruce, who has yet to taste defeat as Wednesday boss, is still discovering the strengths and weaknesses of his squad as he looks to find a winning formula.

But he has repeatedly stated all the players will get an opportunity to impress him over the coming months.

Trying different personnel and formation is not something that frightens Bruce. He has shown flexibility with his systems throughout his 21-year managerial career.

His switch to a three-man defence at former club Hull City was, at first, out of necessity, but proved a masterstroke in the Tigers 2013 promotion-winning team.

Although Bruce is refusing to give up hope of the Owls mounting an unlikely promotion challenge this term, he has not ruled out experimenting in their final 14 matches.

Bruce said: "I am sure that as the season goes on, I will look at one or two other things. At the moment, we are trying to get a few results together and then we will start looking at different players/formations."