The 'tenacious' individual display that suggests all is not lost if Sheffield Wednesday lose out on free agent target
Sheffield Wednesday’s pursuit of an unnamed free agent will be ended one way or another by Monday evening, but one performance over the weekend suggests all is not lost if they are to lose out on the mystery man.
Darren Moore reaffirmed the fact that a self-imposed 5pm Monday deadline has been placed on the deal, confirming that they are battling a Championship club and a club from abroad for the defender’s signature – reported to be former Bristol City man Adrian Mariappa.
But the performance of Ciaran Brennan in their whirlwind 3-2 win at Accrington Stanley on Saturday showed there is a man ready to step in should the deal go south.
The 21-year-old, fresh from the valuable experience of a loan stint at Notts County, looked calm and confident at the back and will hope to make the most of what is a huge career opportunity.
No player made more interceptions in the match than the Republic of Ireland youngster’s three, who also made three important clearances.
“He would have played at Plymouth,” said Owls boss Darren Moore on a stellar performance. “We put Hunty on one side of him, Chey inside, so we had two experienced boys alongside him. They talked him right through it.
“Ciaran was solid, he used the ball well and he was tenacious today, which I liked in him.
“Being a defender myself that’s what you want to see, that tenacity and I thought he had that today. He stakes a wonderful claim to stay in the team and why not on that performance? I’m really pleased for him.”
Despite the fact Wednesday conceded two goals, it was a controlled defensive display expertly marshalled by the in-form Chey Dunkley, who won 12 aerial duels on the day – five ahead of the match’s next-best, Stanley defender Ross Sykes. He also contributed five clearances.
On the other side of defence, Liam Palmer produced a typically dogged defensive display and offered two assists.
While no injured players are expected back before Tuesday’s visit of MK Dons, Moore gave god news on the progress of Marvin Johnson who is suffering from a hamstring issue.
He said: “Marvin will be back on the grass towards the end of next week. That’s great news and we’ll have to see how he goes.”