Sheffield Wednesday: Nathaniel Mendez-Laing return gives Darren Moore big three-way selection headache

It’s a return from injury that could give Sheffield Wednesday the boost they need to skip away from the disappointment of back-to-back draws.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 3:05 pm

Fit-again Nathaniel Mendez-Laing will hope he can go about impacting things in the same way he managed at the outset of his Owls career, when he bagged a goal and an assist in only his second start for the club back in December.

Wednesday have managed well without the lively wide player in recent weeks – winning four of the six matches he sat out with a hamstring injury – but his is a direct style of play they will surely welcome back as the club enter the business end of the campaign.

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Sheffield Wednesday wide man Nathaniel Mendez-Laing is back.

Whether the former Cardiff man is preferred as a second striker will be interesting. He played there in moments before his injury to reasonable effect.

But it is out wide – on both sides – that he enjoyed his most devastating performances, leaving a question mark over how Darren Moore might line up his troops if Mendez-Laing is entrusted to start in the next couple of matches.

Jack Hunt has been in good form, grabbing two assists in his last three outings, but was dropped for Liam Palmer in the home draw against Accrington Stanley and was the man taken off for Mendez-Laing on the hour mark at Gillingham on Saturday.

On the other side, Marvin Johnson has been a doyen of Wednesday’s impressive run of wins over the past couple of months but after an eye-catching run of four assists and a goal within four matches at the turn of the month has looked a little leggy in the last two outings.

Wednesday are coming off the back of a week on the training ground but it may be that the full return of Mendez-Laing remains a waiting game.

Last week Moore warned that caution will have to be exercised when it comes to the players returning from time out.

“Even though they’re back and everybody thinks they’re back match fit, it’s totally different,” he said.

“What you have to do is manage the players. I want them to come back and stay back.

“The longer they’re out there and the longer they train, it means they’re coming back towards 90 minutes.”