Sheffield Wednesday boss explains surprise substitution of Everton loanee Lewis Gibson after eye-catching debut in late EFL Trophy win
Lewis Gibson is close to earning his first Sheffield Wednesday start in League One football, Darren Moore admitted after his star turn in the first half of the Owls’ late 2-1 EFL Trophy win at Mansfield Town.
The Everton loanee has struggled with injury since arriving at Hillsborough but showed a glimpse of what he is capable of with an assured performance against the battling Stags.
Gibson was a surprise half-time substitution, prompting concerns from the Wednesday fanbase that he has suffered a recurrence of his calf issue.
But speaking after the game, Wednesday boss Moore explained the reasoning behind his early exit and said he wasn’t far off that long-awaited league bow.
“He’s close, he’s done the training and we’ve got him up to where we want him to be in training.
“We certainly felt we missed him when it was touch and go for him against Oxford. We just felt the volume of the game might be too much for him. We felt tonight was perfect in terms of getting some into him. He was always going to get 45 minutes and he did that.
“He wanted to carry on for 10 or 15 minutes after half-time but after we had that break I didn’t want him to freeze up on a cold night. He was work was done so we took him off.
“He was calm and composed, he gives us that natural balance on the left-hand side, which we’ve spoken about.
“Hopefully he’ll wake up tomorrow morning and feel in good condition. It was 45 minutes training practice if you like, that’s what he had.”