Sheffield Wednesday suffered defeat at the hands of Oxford United at the weekend, as a last-minute goal from James Henry sent the away side home with all three points.
After bagging a crucial win over Wigan in midweek, the Owls will have gone into the game against the U’s full of confidence and hoping to build on that victory.
Instead, they fell behind and even though it looked like the home side had snatched a point, a 93rd minute effort from Henry meant they instead came away rubbing their eyes in disbelief and empty handed.
However, they won’t have to wait long to go again and try and get back to winning ways. Sheffield Wednesday take on Mansfield Town in the Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday night and they’ll be eager to make a statement against the side. They’re already top of their group after a win over Newcastle United’s academy and will want to extend their lead at the top.
Here then, are three tweaks Darren Moore could make ahead of that game.
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1. Give Sylla Sow a starting berth
The 25-year old has only made two fleeting League One appearances so far since his move to Hillsborough in the summer but when he was given the chance to impress in the club’s last Papa John’s Trophy game, he took it with both hands.
Bagging a goal, he looked quick, lively and caused plenty of problems for Newcastle United’s academy side.
Now would be the perfect time to give him another start and see what else he is capable of against slightly more similar opposition. Mansfield are used to the frantic pace and rough and tumble of EFL football unlike the academies involved in the competition and could give the player more of a taste of what this level of football is like (albeit Mansfield are currently a league below the Owls).
It would be worth giving Sow another chance to shine and see if he can impress again.
2. Give Lewis Wing, Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Liam Palmer a rest
All three players have played in ten games so far this campaign, more than any other Sheffield Wednesday player.
There’s no doubting how important they are to the club but that’s exactly why they should be given the chance to get some much needed rest. A League One season is long, with commitments in both domestic trophies, the Papa John’s Trophy and of course the league to fulfil.
Given that the Owls will fancy themselves as promotion challengers (and may want a cup run to boot) it would be wise to rotate and give three of their most influential players a break in the game tomorrow.
3. Let Fisayo Dele-Bashiru show more of what he is capable of.
Another player who could – and should – be brought into the mix in the game against Mansfield is Dele-Bashiru.
Having come up through the ranks at Manchester City, the 20-year old is clearly talented and has rightly found himself a part of the squad at Sheffield Wednesday now. With 17 appearances to his name to date, he is beginning to establish himself as a more regular figure.
This campaign though he has found gametime harder to come by, with only two short stints against Ipswich and Oxford to his name so far.
Tuesday’s game would be perfect to give him some more EFL experience – and the more experience he gets now, the quicker he will adapt and become a better player in the long run.