Sheffield Wednesday earned a much needed 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday with Lee Gregory grabbing the winner in the second period.
Darren Moore was edging towards some hot water at Hillsborough but the three points lifted the Owls into ninth place and closed the gap between themselves and the top six to just one point.
Ian Evatt’s visitors had the better of the game when you look at the chances they created compared to that of the hosts, so there is still plenty for Moore and his staff to think about after a victory that papered over the cracks a little.
The Trotters are one of the better sides in the division it must be said and therefore Wednesday’s next couple of matches against AFC Wimbledon and Cambridge United on the road are much more favourable.
That could provide Moore with an opportunity to push the Owls back into the play-off places.
Here, then, we take a look at three things we clearly learnt about Sheffield Wednesday after their 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers…
Jack Hunt chipped in with a delicious assist for Gregory’s winner, given more attacking licence deployed as a right wing back.
Moore has had the dilemma of having two quality right backs in Hunt and Liam Palmer, the latter slotted into the back three and the former repaid the manager’s faith with a beautiful cross whipped in along the ground for Gregory to fire home with his first touch.
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The performance was not sparkling, but the result may well see Moore stick with the system and Hunt’s impact at right wing back could be a key component of it bringing a positive points return in the coming weeks.
Susceptible to the press
Liam Gibson was caught in possession in the first half and if Elias Kachunga’s cut back was more precise Wednesday would have been behind.
Eoin Doyle was a constant threat in the match and would have been frustrated not to get on the scoresheet.
It takes time to get used to a new system and this was the first time Moore had gone with three at the back in the league this season.
Sam Hutchinson’s return to the side as a half time substitute for Gibson will be very welcome and he could add some valuable knowhow and experience to the back three in the away trips on the horizon.
Pro and cons of the back three
An assist from the right wing back in an advanced area won the game for Wednesday, a huge tick for the back three system, however, Bolton got in behind far too many times for Moore’s liking in this fixture and on another day would have troubled the scorers.
Gethin Jones and Declan John ventured forward into some great positions and Evatt was full of praise for his team after the match, feeling that they did not get what they deserved.
Wednesday were exposed defensively at times and Moore will be hoping that against weaker opposition in the coming weeks they can iron out those errors and grow into the new system he implemented on Saturday.