Head coach Carlos Carvalhal has promised to continue mixing up his tactics and starting line-ups in Wednesday’s promotion charge.
As part of Carvalhal’s squad rotation policy, Liam Palmer dropped to the bench in Saturday’s home win against lowly Charlton Athletic. Jack Hunt got the nod in the right-back role while Sam Hutchinson returned in midfield, replacing the suspended Barry Bannan.
“It is very easy for me (to rotate) and the players understand,” Carvalhal told The Star. “Not every team has the same characteristics.
“Liam has played very over the last few weeks. He has played fantastic but we analysed Charlton’s left winger and felt that he doesn’t cover the left side so well.
“We needed a full-back who would be more aggressive in attack to create damage which is why we felt it was better to play Jack.”
The Addicks high intensity pressing game and impressive work rate negated Wednesday’s much-vaunted forward line, forcing Carvalhal to tweak his game plan at the interval. He threw on Alex Lopez and Atdhe Nuhiu and the duo made big impacts.
Carvalhal said: “We had to do something different. We are here to try and manage everything and if the first plan isn’t working and we aren’t playing as we expect then we must change things. You have to have a Plan B, C and D.”
While Nuhiu’s presence gave the Owls the option of going more direct, Lopez’s impressive passing range and driving runs from midfield added an extra spark.
“Alex hasn’t played too much so far because Barry Bannan and Kieran Lee have played very well,” admitted Carvalhal. “Also Sam has played very well and we play with just two midfielders.
“But I know Alex very well. He has come from Spain’s top division with big experience. He can give a lot to the team.
“Alex is a quality player. I like Alex him a lot. When he plays, he increases the value of the team.”
Carvalhal added: “We have other players in the squad who haven’t yet given all they can give. It is not easy for everyone to play as their colleagues are doing very well.
“But we trust in everybody and we have a fantastic group of players who, when they are needed, can come in and perform.”