Sheffield Wednesday pair 'neck and neck' after match-turning moment, admits Darren Moore
Joe Wildsmith has an opportunity to push his case ahead of that of Bailey Peacock-Farrell this weekend as Sheffield Wednesday welcome Gillingham to Hillsborough.
The Owls have had a resurgence in terms of their defensive effort in the last three matches, keeping clean sheets in each after a run of just one shutout in 11.
Peacock-Farrell was the man with the gloves in the first two of those matches, but Wildsmith’s heroics in their 4-0 win over Harrogate Town on Tuesday evening has put a new slant on his likely selection when Gillingham come to town. Peacock-Farrell will miss the match due to international duty.
“With Bailey and Joe, we feel we have two excellent goalkeepers. Both of them are fighting it out neck and neck,” Moore said.
“Bailey is out on international duty, Bailey will play and we've no problem with that.
“They've both pulled off wonderful saves but they are both neck and neck in terms of performances. With Bailey being away we have no problem with Joe coming in and having a sequence of games. He payed well tonight and he takes that performance into Saturday.”
Barring injury, Wildsmith will play his sixth match of the season on Saturday. He has kept three clean sheets in his five outings so far. He made 10 saves in the Harrogate win – a season-best figure for a Wednesday keeper this season.
“I thought he was spot on,” Moore said. “When the game was at 1-0 and at 2-0, he made a succession of saves and though the saves looked relatively easy on the eye, it was all down to his positional sense.
“They were good saves and he was in the right position to save them, there were also a couple of reflex saves for him in the second half.
“When he made that save onto the post and we went up the other end and scored through George Byer's header, it was a real decisive moment in the game. That's what ended up winning us the game. These moments change it.
“Had Harrogate pulled one back then at 2-1, it would have given them something to get hold of. It hows the importance of those moments and allowed us to go on and really kill the game.”