Sheffield Wednesday: The unusual training method Darren Moore has chosen to make a defender of Marvin Johnson

There’s been a lot made of ‘square pegs in round holes’ at Sheffield Wednesday in recent weeks as Darren Moore navigates his way around a spate of injury issues at the club.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 12:04 pm

Several players have been played out of their primary position and much scrutiny has been placed on the selection of Marvin Johnson as a left-sided centre-half.

Johnson has earned plaudits for his performances in the foreign slot and was particularly impressive in the Owls’ 3-0 win over Sunderland on Tuesday evening.

Moore admitted the testing nature of the situation and praised the efforts shown by Johnson and other players in performing different roles.

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“All our defenders are injured at the moment,” he said. “It’s just one of those situations at the moment.

“That’s why I’ve had to play Marvin in the way he’s played and I think he’s been excellent in terms of that versatility for the team. Credit to him and credit to others players; Pato, Theo, Baz. There are a lot of square pegs in round holes. They’re doing their job.”

Moore went on to explain the training methods he has put in place this season to ensure the likes of Johnson are better equipped to ‘fill in’ in secondary – or indeed third – positions.

He said: “We work on it in training. When you see players in these positions, it’s always something we’ve worked on in training. We’ve never gone ad-hoc out there and thrown someone out. They’ve worked on these positions.

Sheffield Wednesday man Marvin Johnson is among the players to have played in foreign positions in recent weeks.

“It’s something we do because of how seasons go in these moments. A player could go down injured and we feel comfortable making these changes because players have played in those areas in training.

“That’s so important for me and is something I’ve always adhered to doing in my managerial career.

“Players just playing in one position and staying there? I don’t do it. I change it around in training, I play players in secondary positions and when we’re practising phases of play or small-sided games I change them up. I think that’s important.

“It means when players are asked to do a different job for the team they can do it and that’s what you’ve been seeing over the last few games.”