Sheffield Wednesday boss Danny Röhl seeks to reassure 'playing out' doubters

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Danny Röhl said he understands why such a focus is placed on errors made by Sheffield Wednesday when playing out from the back - but delivered a frank explanation of why fans should show patience with the tactic.

The Owls came unstuck in the first half of Tuesday evening’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Norwich City when a pass out from teenage goalkeeper James Beadle led to the Canaries’ second goal. The Brighton loanee, whose longer balls were later the subject of ironic cheers from a small section of the home support, went on to make a string of vital saves and earned plaudits from his manager for an important role in their comeback effort.

In a press conference in which Röhl issued a plea to supporters to bring ‘only positive energy’ to Hillsborough heading into Saturday’s monster clash with fellow relegation battlers Stoke City, he provided a further defence of his preference to play through the lines from defence - a method that has been utilised in a run of form that sees them eighth in the Championship form table since the start of December.

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“It is easy to say it doesn't work or it is not good enough, we have to learn from each experience,” he said. “We learned a lot in the last weeks and I think mistakes happen in football. If you make mistakes in the last line then it hurts more than in front. We missed a chance in the second half to make it 2-1, but nothing is said because nothing happens (to the score line). If you make mistakes in the back line than the outcome is not good.”

While all Röhl match plans are based around principles of high intensity, front-foot ideals, tweaks have been made to tactics depending on opposition. The Championship is not a division you can ‘cut and paste’ your approach in, he said, with every match throwing up a different challenge.

A second half comeback against Norwich saw Röhl shift towards a more direct style of play. The German coach has sought to explain the modern preference for ‘playing out from the back’, expressing the importance of retaining possession from re-starts and allowing players to set up for attacks.

He said: “I have a clear idea, but I showed also that I can adapt as a manager and I can help my team with some decisions. I am never too proud to make just one direction and if I have the feeling we must adapt in the game then we do it. Of course I have my principles, how I want to play football, and all in all this is the direction.

“We must be honest, my style of football is why we have this big, big opportunity to stay in the league.”