Sheffield Wednesday: Owls changed their tactics to combat pitch, claims Dyche

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

Burnley manager Sean Dyche reckons Sheffield Wednesday switched to a direct style of play to combat their poor Hillsborough playing surface on Tuesday.

The Clarets, one of the Championship’s in-form sides, were forced to settle for a draw after Kieran Lee’s strike cancelled out Andre Gray’s third-minute opener.

Despite Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri spending £1m on laying a new pitch last summer, the surface has started to cut up and look patchy in places due to the adverse weather conditions over the last month or so.

Dyche conceded that the pitch hindered both sides ability to play free-flowing football, leading to Wednesday adopting a more direct approach.

“Both teams attempted to play on a really tough pitch,” he said. “They made a change with [Atdhe] Nuhiu and went back to front quicker which I don’t think is their norm.

“I think they felt that the pitch wasn’t that playable.”

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Nonetheless, Dyche refused to blame the pitch for his side failing to pick up maximum points.

“It happens,” he said. “The weather has been horrendous. We have got new surfaces at our training ground and we have suffered from floods.

“It (the pitch) wasn’t as good as we or they hoped.”

Owls midfielder Barry Bannan felt the surface had no bearing on the final outcome.

“It’s the same for both teams so we can’t moan about it,” he stressed. “We are getting to the back end of the season so all pitches are not going to be in great condition. When we were young kids, we played on worse pitches than that so we just have to get on with it and do our best.”

The result extended Wednesday’s unbeaten home run to 14 matches in all competitions.

Bannan said: “Our home form is probably down to the fans. They are really behind us. It urges us on and gives us that extra kick.

“When teams come here, they show us respect and sit in and that really suits us because we are a good technical team.”