Sheffield Wednesday: 'We are complementing each other well' - Dominic Iorfa discusses his blossoming partnership with Julian Börner

The blossoming partnership between Julian Börner and Dominic Iorfa at centre-back has been a major plus point for the Owls in a period of transition.

Friday, 4th October 2019, 12:20 pm
Updated Friday, 4th October 2019, 2:52 pm

Börner has starred at the heart of the defence since joining on a free transfer from German club Arminia Bielefeld while Iorfa has admirably filled the void left by injured club captain Tom Lees.

With Lees still undergoing rehab for a hamstring problem he sustained in the warm-up prior to Queens Park Rangers, Börner and Iorfa are expected to start together for the seventh match running when Garry Monk's men host Wigan Athletic this weekend.

"We conceded a goal at Hull but other than that I think we have defended well together," said Iorfa. "He [Börner] has his strengths and I have mine.

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Dominic Iorfa and Julian Borner

"I am a bit quicker and can cover in behind him and he is a bit more solid in terms of position in that sense so I think we are complementing each other well."

Iorfa is enjoying playing alongside Borner and believes their partnership is "developing well".

"I have come a long way since QPR where I was thrown in at the last minute and I hadn't really played there (centre-back)," he said. "You could see as a partnership that we didn't really know each other games that well. I can say I didn't really play well and I think he can say the same.

"But since then we have kicked on and we have put in good performances together. I think we understand each other's game. I know what he is going to do and he knows what I am going to do as well. It is about building that relationship.

"I have enjoyed playing with him in the last few games. I think he is a good player. He helps me on the pitch and I think I help him.

"It is developing well. If you play with someone for a few weeks, you get to know their game. The longer it goes on the better we will be together."

It will be interesting to see if Monk chooses to stick or break up the Börner-Iorfa pairing after the international break. Lees is back training at Middlewood Road and looks set to be available for selection when the Owls go to Cardiff City on Friday, October 18. Will Lees walk straight back into the team or will he have to bide his time?

Should Monk decide to recall Lees, he could switch Iorfa to full-back.

Iorfa said: "I have played the majority of my professional games at right-back. I have only played a handful of games at centre-back in comparison to right-back.

"I am known as a right-back but growing up as a younger I used to play at centre-half and when I broke through at Wolves they put me at right-back and I kind of established myself there."

Centre-half feels like a "new position" for Iorfa.

"It is the first time in my career that I have actually had a run of games at centre-back so I am still learning the position," he said. "I feel I have shown in the last few weeks that I am getting better in the position and I think our performances suggest that as well.

"It is something I would like to settle down and try and cement a place as a centre-half.

"But at the end of the day, I have played many games at right-back so we don't know what will happen. I have got to keep performing and keep doing well and whatever happens happens."

It is clear, though, Iorfa is relishing his new role.

"With my pace, I have been able to read the game at centre-half and cover the defence in certain positions," he said. "I think that has been pretty useful and I have enjoyed it.

"It is completely different (to right-back) because you are more involved in the game. At right-back, you are up against your winger and you have to make sure you mark the winger and you come out on top whereas at centre-half you have got midfielders and strikers running in behind and you have to organise the players around you.

"There is a lot more responsibility at centre-half whereas at right-back you are more isolated."

Has Iorfa had a conversation with Monk about where he sees him playing in the long-term?

He said: "No, we haven't had that discussion.

"It is good that I have shown I can play in a number of positions. I have played at right-back and everybody knows me from that position. I am established there and now I am showcasing my skills at centre-back.

"It will help me in the long run if the manager feels he needs to play me here (centre-half) as I understand the position. A bit of versatility helps."