Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday - Darren Moore explains tactical switch as Owls 'get away with one' ahead of second leg

Darren Moore agreed his side may have ‘got away with one’ in their narrow play-off semi-final defeat at Sunderland and discussed his side’s tactical approach to the clash.
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The Owls came under pressure for the majority of the match but head into Monday’s return leg at Hillsborough with only a one-goal deficit to overcome after what Moore described as a ‘dogged’ display of defending.

A red hot atmosphere in front of more than 45,000 fans saw the home side 15 shots to Wednesday’s eight.

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Moore praised his side’s spirit in trying conditions and explained that his side had not been instructed to sit deeper than in recent weeks, rather that they had been penned in by a buoyant Sunderland start.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore.Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore.
Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore.

After conceding late on in the first half, the Owls switched to a four-at-the-back system before quickly moving back to a 3-5-2 having come under sustained pressure.

Moore said: “I wanted to go man for man just to stem the flow. They grew into the game and we flipped it back.

“It was to try to stem the flow. When you’re man for man, with the spaces they were operating in, it is more straight forward for the boys. They were getting half a yard on us, but the way the game was going, they were just that bit sharper and quicker with the crowd behind them so we tried to block it out.

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“Once I felt the pendulum move and the energy on the pitch changed, we made the change.

“They were so on top we made the adjustment at half-time. We had to be thinking on our feet and that we had to do that in the second half, it was the right thing to do.

“They were getting into half-areas and were getting on top of the game. I knew we had to stay in it so we could wrestle it back and get our moments in the game.”

Wednesday came on strong in the final 15 minutes and could perhaps have taken a draw from the clash had they taken one of a handful of half-chances.

A sold-out Hillsborough is confirmed for Monday’s second leg.