Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore made a blunder but he's entitled to one

Darren Moore is making many more good decisions than bad ones. Let’s cut him some slack for the Barry Bannan subbing gamble that backfired in Sheffield Wednesday’s 1-1 draw on Tuesday.

By Alan Biggs
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 11:00 am

It was a blunder for me in that the skipper, sacrificed on 71 minutes with a precarious 1-0 lead, could have managed away the build up of pressure that led to Accrington’s late equaliser, albeit from a poorly defended corner.

But I don’t think this will prove a turning point for manager or club amid justified confidence that Wednesday will chase down a play-off spot.

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Sheffield Wedneday boss Darren Moore took off talisman Barry Bannan is the Owls draw with Accrington. Pic Steve Ellis

Moore’s pivotal point dates back two months, as I keep wondering just how important was the 1-0 home win over Ipswich back on January 29th.

The team had lost three of their previous four games in falling off the pace for the play-offs. It was a tight, if deserved win, and Moore was down on his haunches in the technical area as his players saw it out under late pressure.

Elsewhere, just four days earlier, a proven League One practitioner in Grant McCann had exited Hull City, where he had won promotion back to the Championship last season.

At the time, there was no rumoured connection between these events. It was only subsequently that I heard a bit of talk that McCann might have been on the Owls’ radar in other circumstances.

While you can’t be sure of any truth in this, if there was a time when Dejphon Chansiri considered a change of manager in a clearly critical season then that was it and certainly McCann would have been a logical shout.

But, for all the discontent with Moore from a section of supporters at that stage, I still think Chansiri would have been extremely reluctant to act because there is obviously a strong relationship between the two men at the top.

Happily, the issue hasn’t arisen and Moore has gained even the respect of his critics.

Tuesday has to be treated in isolation. And it would have passed without a murmur had either Wednesday taken their chances or not fallen foul of a familiar defensive failing.

In that event, a surprising team selection would have passed without comment.

Resting Lee Gregory on his comeback from injury was beyond question. Taking out Jack Hunt, who was relied on to force Callum Paterson’s breakthrough goal, was maybe a different matter.

And there is a strong consensus of opinion on the Bannan decision, possibly shared by the man himself.

What impresses me about Moore, though, is that he shoulders responsibility with ease, doesn’t object to critical points being raised and refuses to overreact win, lose or draw.

That calm head will be needed with so much riding on the last nine games.