Sheffield Wednesday: Antonio favours wing role

Michail Antonio is the Owls top scorer with eight goals
Michail Antonio is the Owls top scorer with eight goals
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Michail Antonio will be happy to occupy his former position on the wing if the Owls stick to a strike pairing of Lero Lita and Connor Wickham.

But when the team were trailing against Derby he was switched out wide, with Wickham sent on as a sub to partner Lita.

The loan stars seem likely to stay as the favoured pairing - but Antonio, club top scorer with eight goals, would have no qualms about giving up the striker role even though he finds it physically less tough.

“I scored nine last season - five for us and four for Colchester - and hopefully I can beat that, but to be honest I just make sure I play well first, and if I get a goal it’s a bonus,” he told The Star.

“I found playing as a striker quite difficult at first; when I’m playing out wide, I can see players coming towards me; playing up top, you’ve got your back to them and they’re hitting you from behind. I wasn’t used to it.

“More recently, I’ve kind of got used to it. But I’m more comfortable out wide. That’s my position. I know once I’ve got the ball what I’m going to do; up front, you have to hold it and wait for players to join in.

“If I have to go back out wide to my normal position, I’d love to do it; it’s a lot more work; you have to track back as well work forward, at times. I make runs across the pitch as well. My stats show I can run 12k during a game. It’s easier up front.”

The 22-year-old sees potential in the Wickham-Lita pairing, which could start the Birmingham game next Tuesday: “When Connor came on after half an hour, even though he’d not played much this season he looked quite sharp, comfortable and clean. They worked together quite nicely. It’s scary thoughts about what’s going to happen next week!”