Sheffield Wednesday take on Mansfield Town in the FA Cup on Saturday and Darren Moore should reward Tyreeq Bakinson’s recent strong form with a start.
The midfielder struggled for regular game time at the start of the season but has really caught the eye in recent performances, notably against Southampton and Shrewsbury Town in the last two fixtures.
With Josh Windass likely to miss this weekend’s game against The Stags through injury, Moore will need another source of creativity in the middle of the park, and Bakinson can certainly provide that, as he showed with his through ball to the aforementioned attacker in the League Cup defeat against Southampton.
The 24-year-old has started just eight games in League One so far this campaign but has one goal and one assist to his name thus far, with WhoScored awarding him a solid 6.73 rating for his performances in the third tier.
The Owls will go into the game as heavy favourites, given that Mansfield are a division lower and have won just one of their last six games in League Two, which should give Moore the opportunity to start players such as Bakinson, who are perhaps not always the first names on the team sheet.
Moore was full of praise for what Bakinson can offer after he produced a fine display in the first-round win over Morecambe earlier this month.
He said: “He just gives us something different because he can play defensively and in attack. He’s got wonderful soft feet for a big man, and he’s getting more and more understanding of what we require of him.
“He gives us a completely different dimension to last season because he’s got that size and power but wonderful feet and good technical ability. He’s just going to get stronger and better.”
Bakinson is still young and looks to have a huge amount of potential, so Moore should give him as much game time as possible this season, with Saturday’s FA Cup game against lower-league opposition surely the ideal time to let him show what he can do in the Wednesday midfield.