Sheffield Wednesday embark on a new era this evening as Darren Moore takes charge of his first game since being appointed as new Owls boss this week.
It’s a crucial match too as they welcome local and relegation rivals Rotherham United to Hillsborough Stadium for a cliched ‘six-pointer.’
A victory would see Wednesday leapfrog the Millers into the final relegation spot, though they’d still be several points away from safety, so Moore needs to get it spot on immediately.
After suffering four consecutive defeats, the latest of which being an almighty collapse against Luton, something has got to change.
Owls interim Neil Thompson reverted back to a 3-5-2 but failed to bring Adam Reach back into the equation at left wing-back, a decision that proved costly as the 28-year-old can be one of their most influential players, on his day.
Indeed, the long-serving utility man has contributed towards five goals in 25 starts (three goals, two assists), which is only bettered by three other players, so he really ought to start.
Reach’s best performances have come on the left side of defence, with average ratings of 7.31 at left-back and 6.59 at left wing-back, as per WhoScored.
He is also amongst the Owls’ most creative players, having averaged 0.8 key passes per 90 minutes, only bettered by two other regular starters, as well as 0.7 accurate crosses per 90, which is only bettered than the same two players – Barry Bannan and fellow wing man, Kadeem Harris.
Interestingly, both of whom started, but Reach didn’t.
Wednesday journalist George Smith emphasised the £2.88m-rated dynamo’s importance to The Athletic, he said: “On his day, Reach can be one of the most influential players in the Championship,” before adding: “He is a very important player for Wednesday.”
Whilst sacked Owls boss Tony Pulis dubbed him a “top player.”
Given the weight of tonight’s result, a player as key as Reach simply has to start.
Moore must kickstart his reign with a win, and his chances will be boosted by deploying the versatile £20k-per-week gem out on that left flank.