Sheffield Wednesday: Why Owls chose to start Kieran Lee in their win over Derby County

Kieran Lee
Kieran Lee

Lee Bullen has explained why promotion-chasing Wednesday started Kieran Lee against Derby County.

Lee was a surprise midfield inclusion in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Hillsborough. Despite only recently returning to full training following hip surgery, Lee lined up in the middle of the park versus the Rams. It was the former Oldham Athletic player’s first outing since January 2.

Owls coach Bullen said Lee was due to start on the bench but was thrown in after David Jones pulled out on the morning of the match due to illness.

“David phoned in and said he was ill,” said Bullen. “I think he had an ear infection.

“Kieran wasn’t due to start the game but he never looked like he had been away.

“It lifted everybody having Kieran back. He’s a lovely character. He strengthens the squad again.

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“It is nice to have one or two of these players coming back at this stage of the season.

“It makes the gaffer’s decision-making a lot harder and it gives us the option of freshening things up.”

Wednesday’s midfield options could be further bolstered before Saturday’s trip to Ipswich Town with Sam Hutchinson progressing well from his calf injury.

“We are hoping Sam will be in training this week but it be down to the gaffer when to reintegrate him,” said Bullen.