Sheffield Wednesday: Tiny targets bigger role

Martin Taylor could take over from Miguel Llera in the Owls back four
Martin Taylor could take over from Miguel Llera in the Owls back four
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Martin Taylor is being earmarked for a more prominent role at Sheffield Wednesday - especially if Miguel Llera leaves.

Taylor is the obvious replacement for Llera as the right-side centre half.

He would arguably bring better balance to the back four too as he is right-footed.

The Owls have been playing with two left-footed centre halves - Llera and captain Anthony Gardner.

However. Dave Jones would not regard it as a simple, straight swap if Llera turns down the club’s contract offer and leaves.

The Owls manager would look to sign another centre half to maintain competition for places and would then pick what he judges to be the best partnership.

Jones also hopes that Llera will stay. But the Owls manager is confident in Taylor’s ability as well.

The manager believes that Taylor - known inside the club as Tiny - suffered through being pitched into a struggling side in the early days after his arrival from Watford last August.

But as the season wore on he showed the form that Jones expected, for example as a stand-in in away games against Cardiff, Blackburn and Birmingham.

“Tiny wasn’t happy when he wasn’t playing but he kept going and was great to have around the club. He did well when he got a chance but we kept going back to the partnership that had done best for us,” explained the manager.

“We’re weren’t sure how many games Anthony would play; in fact he played in most of them; so did Miguel. So Tiny was the unfortunate one to miss out. But he’ll have a role to play.”

Llera has said that he wants to stay at the club, and Jones feels that the defender’s form was not affected by the outburst from his agent in January, when it was claimed that he could go during that month and other clubs were interested.

“Everyone makes mistakes; as long as they’re honest ones and they want to learn,” said Jones, alluding to some on-field errors made by Llera, as well as the defending and goals that earned him a place.

“It was down to Miguel to keep doing it; as long as he was doing that, he was fine.”

Llera staked his claim for the new deal by making 46 league and cup appearances last season and scoring six goals, all in the league.