Sheffield Wednesday boss heaps praise on Owls defender after 'rock solid' performance

Sheffield Wednesday’s Harlee Dean was praised for his ‘rock solid’ performance after returning to the XI on Friday night.

Saturday, 7th May 2022, 4:55 pm

Dean has had his injury issues since joining the Owls on loan, but has barely put a foot wrong in Wednesday colours when he has been selected at the heart of their defence.

On Friday night, largely to help quell the threat of Ross Stewart, Darren Moore opted to bring him back into the side at Sunderland, a decision that worked out well as he put in one of the best performances of the night in Owls colours.

The game was lost after a goal late in the first half from Stewart after a loose pass from Sam Hutchinson, but the Black Cat’s narrow victory gives Wednesday a big chance of turning it around on home soil.

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Harlee Dean returned to the Sheffield Wednesday starting XI on Friday night.

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Dean, who is now expected to start at Hillsborough on Monday, was praise by his manager after the game – especially given the size of the match and his lack of action recently.

Speaking to The Star after the game, Moore said of Dean, “To bring him back in a game of this sort of magnitude… It’s a big credit to him in terms of his experience - he was magnificent, really. It’s a difficult game to come back in, and we thought about it long and hard.

“But he’s been in situations like this throughout his whole career, and when I look back and analyse the game, my goodness, what a performance.

“He headed it, stood strong, and made a superb block in the first half. His positional sense to deal with crosses was good too.

"As an individual I though he was rock solid, and he settled down those either side of him as well.

"He turned a corner a few days ago in how he was moving, and I thought maybe this was the right game to bring him back.”

Wednesday now prepare for the return leg of the game on Monday night where they welcome the Black Cats to S6, and they’ll be desperate to overturn their deficit and book their place at Wembley in front of what is set to be a capacity crowd.