Sheffield Wednesday: Adam Reach sparkles in new Owls role

Adam Reach

Adam Reach

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At the home of a rejuvenated Cardiff City team, Adam Reach once more underlined his quality and versatility to the Owls.

The Championship club’s record-signing insists left wing is his favoured position.

Adam Reach

Adam Reach

But seven weeks into his Owls career, Reach has already been utilised in three areas. He has featured at left-back, the left wing and up front.

It was a surprise to see Reach handed a central role against the Bluebirds but the 23-year-old put in a fine display. He was unlucky not to get on the score-sheet and played an instrumental part in Wednesday’s equaliser. Reach freed strike partner Gary Hooper, who fizzed in a low centre which was rifled in by Daniel Pudil.

Following the draw, head coach Carlos Carvalhal revealed he chose Reach over Atdhe Nuhiu because he wanted a mobile, speedy player leading the line.

“We put Reach in attack and he did really well and when we put Fernando [Forestieri] on we told them to share the position as we wanted to create problems to Cardiff,” said Carvalhal.

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Forestieri, who is expecting his first child with wife Andria, was a surprise omission from Carvalhal’s starting line-up. Fresh from grabbing his third goal of the campaign in Sunday’s triumph at Huddersfield Town, the former Watford man looked set to retain his place in the first eleven.

However, Forestieri dropped to the substitutes bench and Wednesday struggled as an attacking force in the opening half an hour.

The 26-year-old was introduced at half-time and he helped swing the momentum the Owls’ way.

Carvalhal said: “Fernando didn’t start the game as he played in very difficult conditions and received a big kick against Huddersfield.

“He didn’t train yesterday (Tuesday) or in the last few days so we put him on the bench just in case we needed him. We took some risks but we are very happy with the new Fernando.

“Even with the pain and some problems, he helped the team.”

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Another notable absentee was Barry Bannan. The midfielder, named in the PFA Championship of the Season last year, was not included in the travelling party.

On Bannan’s absence, Carvalhal replied: “It was an option on my part.”

By his own admission, Bannan struggled to make an impact last weekend, although he was not stationed in his natural position.

Carvalhal brought him off at Huddersfield before the hour mark, claiming the Scottish star was “completely tired”. Bannan reacted angrily to being taken off and exchanged words with Carvalhal.

“Like all the players, Barry is one who could play on Saturday,” stressed Carvalhal. “We will have training and prepare for the game this weekend.”

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