Sheffield Wednesday defeated by West Brom - but the result isn’t Darren Moore’s biggest worry as Josh Windass is hauled off
Sheffield Wednesday were beaten 2-0 by West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday afternoon, but the result won’t be Darren Moore’s biggest worry to come out of the game.
The Owls took on the Baggies in a behind-closed-doors game that wasn’t available for the media and wasn’t streamed anywhere, and Moore named a pretty strong side to start the game against Valérien Ismaël’s promotion-chasing outfit.
But that didn’t mean that there weren’t a few eyebrows to be raised when looking at the XI – with a number of absentees missing without any immediate explanation.
Julian Börner, who has been heavily linked with an exit for Hannover 96 in Germany, as well as Liam Palmer and Callum Paterson were all missing in action at the WBA training ground, while Andre Green and Charles Hagan were once again absent – in all likelihood for the same reason they missed out on the Barnsley clash.
There were two trialists named on the bench for the encounter, and while neither’s identity was revealed it is expected that one of them was Fulham youngster, Sylvester Jasper, who featured against the Tykes.
One major positive to take from the XI was the fact that Dominic Iorfa was given his first start of 2021 as he continues to recover from Achilles surgery, but things didn’t start well for the Wednesday defence as they were cut open within five minutes as Matt Phillips got things underway.
Josh Windass twice went close, according to the Owls’ official Twitter account, with one effort going wide of the post and the other being saved by David Button. Then just before the break the Baggies doubled their lead as Phillips grabbed a brace.
And if there weren’t already concerns over injuries, just before the break Windass – Wednesday’s biggest goal threat – was taken off to receive treatment after pulling up with an injury. A fact that will no doubt be of concern to Moore and Wednesdayites alike.
Josh Dawodu also came off within the first half hour of the game, however the reason for him being replaced by Ciaran Brennan was not specified.
As has been the case in previous friendlies, the changes came in their droves in the second 45, with the second trialist joining the fray after the first entered as Windass’ replacement. The likes of Chey Dunkley, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru, Alex Hunt and Cameron Dawson also came on as the game wound down, picking up more valuable minutes ahead of the start of the 2021/22 campaign.
Moore has been very cautious when it comes to fitness management over the past few weeks. He’s rested players and limited their minutes amid double training sessions, and sessions before matches, so it would come as a major blow if – despite that – his top attacker faced a spell on the sidelines. Only time will tell on that front.
There were no goals in the second half, however it was WBA asking all the questions as the game went on, and now the Owls will turn their focus to Saturday’s visit from Wrexham in another behind-closed-doors encounter – this time at Wednesday’s Middlewood Road training ground.