The Sheffield Wednesday sidestep that ‘delighted’ Owls boss as he makes Reece James claim

It certainly wasn’t the case same time last season.
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The very last post-match press conference of that campaign did contain questions around their approach to a play-off campaign, of a last day victory against strong opposition, of a job well done – then against Portsmouth, not Derby County.

But that post-match chat was also dogged by questions around an injury to Barry Bannan that would prove to have a predictably major impact on Wednesday’s performance at the play-off stage.

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This time? No such questions as key men were subbed at the right time, as Michael Ihiekwe and Dennis Adeniran were rested altogether and as the likes of Josh Windass and Jack Hunt were able to get minutes under their belt on the continued return from injury.

Owls Reece James   Pic Steve EllisOwls Reece James   Pic Steve Ellis
Owls Reece James Pic Steve Ellis

Speaking to The Star this time, Owls boss Darren Moore discussed a job well done – and huge relief at their ability to come through the encounter unscathed.

“Oh I was delighted and that was the main thing,” he smiled. “We spoke about getting through the game unscathed. I was so pleased to win the game, 96 points, but the biggest thing was no injuries. Getting Jack and Reece back, making good decisions with Icky and Dennis, it’s so good to get these faces back.”

Indeed, for the first time in some time, Wednesday are on the path to having their squad strengthened in key areas, rather than having it pulled apart. Lee Gregory should return to contention and in the case of Josh Windass, who got half an hour of action in.

Reece James is the man next on the waiting list.

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“It was just about managing the minutes, the atmosphere and the pace and tempo of the game,” he said on Windass. “Derby had to come at us and it was the perfect 30 minutes for Josh.

“He was always going to get 30 minutes today, we sent him out early in the second half so he could get really warm and make sure. We were pleased to see him out there.

“We’ve come off the pitch unscathed which is what we wanted to see and we got sufficient minutes into people. Jack Hunt got onto the pitch, which was great, Reece James is back, he’ll get another full week’s training. It’s been good to get faces back into the team.”