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First Team News

A Foot In Both Camps: Sheffield Wednesday

19 November 2020

First Team News

A Foot In Both Camps: Sheffield Wednesday

19 November 2020

Not only did Ross Wallace play for both PNE and Sheffield Wednesday, but he will be part of our iFollow commentary team on Saturday afternoon, so he is the man we spoke to ahead of the weekend’s game.

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The Scotland international’s spells with the two sides came either side of his time with Burnley, with the winger joining Deepdale in 2008 and leaving for the Clarets in 2010 before then moving to the Owls in 2015.

Wednesday travel to PR1 on Saturday with a new manager in charge after Tony Pulis took over at Hillsborough during the international break.

Ross told iFollow PNE: “It’s a massive football club, the fanbase is huge, they support their team unbelievably well and there is pressure yes for the players, there’s pressure on every club.

“You can see with the managers they’ve had over the last year or two since Carlos Carvalhal left and since I’d been there, nobody’s really seemed to get it right, but with a new manager in Tony Pulis coming in, he’ll be hoping to get off to a good start.

“Sheffield Wednesday’s record going to Deepdale is not good, so it’ll be an interesting game with a new manager going in there and Preston looking to get their home form better than it is.”

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North End and Wednesday have shared some exciting encounters over the last few years, including the 3-1 victory in South Yorkshire last season.

Ahead of the latest meeting, Ross identified two players who he believes can make an impact in this one, starting with Daniel Johnson, who scored his first goal for Jamaica during the international break.

Ross said: “I think he’ll be key to everything Preston do. Going away and getting a goal as well will boost his confidence so he’ll be coming back flying.

“It’s similar to what Barry Bannan does for Sheffield Wednesday, sort of an influential figure during a match so I think Sheffield Wednesday will have to have a close look at Daniel Johnson and stop him controlling the game.

“Similar to Preston, they’ll have to stop Barry Bannan controlling the game. I think them two players are the main ones.”

Ross, who played a combined 213 times for the two sides, also offered a tactical prediction of how this game could go.

“It’ll be Preston trying to play out from the back. They struggled that game (against Birmingham), but I think they’ll be trying to go that route.

“I think the main thing for Preston is you can see with Sheffield Wednesday that they went to a five at the back so that tells you that they’ve been struggling defensively – they’re not confident there.

“In terms of Preston, they’ve got pace within the squad so it’ll be interesting to see once they get in that final third and see the team when it’s picked on Saturday to see what he goes for.

“I think pace in the wider areas is probably going to hurt Sheffield Wednesday the most.”

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Saturday’s Championship fixture will be the first time that crowd noise will be played over the tannoy at Deepdale and Ross thinks that could have an influence on the game.

He added: “It’ll definitely make a difference. The games have got that sort of reserve game feel where the game slows down a wee bit.

“I think with a Preston team, they’re a fast-paced team, they defend quick, they go through the thirds very quickly the way Alex Neil’s got them set up and they have got pace so I think Preston don’t want the game slowed down.

“They like a high tempo full press, to get on the ball, get the ball wide and cause problems.

“With a little bit of noise in the stadium it’ll take away that sort of reserve game feel to it.”

There’s plenty more from Ross in the full interview at the top of the page, as he discusses the impact Alan Browne, goes into more detail over what to expect from Pulis and more.

To watch the game, you will need an iFollow match pass. We will have a three man commentary team at the weekend with Ross joining Jonathan Breeze and Paul McKenna on air from the earlier time of 2.30pm this Saturday – click here now to sign up for a £10 video match pass.

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