Sheffield Wednesday: Martin Taylor makes fine comeback

Aerial power: Martin Taylor heads the ball away from Birmingham's Nikola Zigic.       Picture: nick potts/pa
Aerial power: Martin Taylor heads the ball away from Birmingham's Nikola Zigic. Picture: nick potts/pa

NEWEST signings Leroy Lita, Connor Wickham, Danny Pugh and Jeremy Helan have tended to hog the Hillsborough spotlight during the last month.

But now there is the re-emergence of another Dave Jones capture.

Martin Taylor arrived in the summer and had a sticky start. The centre half, nicknamed Tiny, returned to the side in place of the injured Anthony Gardner at Birmingham - not the first time that he has deputised soundly since those early weeks.

But this has to go down as perhaps his best performance, considering that he and Miguel Llera were up against high=profile strike duo Nikola Zigic and Marlon King - ironically on a night when the new arrivals arguably made less impact than in some previous games.

Dave Jones said: “Tiny had been out a long time. I thought he played well and showed what he is capable of doing, and I think he’s now got that monkey off his back. I’m pleased for him.

“When he came, we weren’t doing as well as we are now. Now he’s come into a team that’s playing well. That makes a difference when anybody comes in.

“When we were losing, people tended to get blamed for that, and I think Tiny got a bit of that. He stood up to be counted against Birmingham, and that showed the character of the guy.”

The team has improved since Taylor was signed. January saw the arrival of Swansea’s Lita, a proven scorer, a crafty little striker, who netted on his debut. Wickham, borrowed from Sunderland this month, is bristling with potential with his touch, height and strength, though he found it hard going against the experienced Curtis Davies, on Tuesday.

Lita’s newness to the set-up was once or twice illustrated when he was looking for the ball but team-mates were not on the same wavelength.

Leeds United’s Pugh has settled in admirably, firstly on the left side of midfield, then at left back, and delivers a mean set piece. A couple of bookings show he has a tough streak.

Helan, who came back for a second spell on loan from Manchester City after missing one game, has searing pace that makes him a constant threat on the left wing.