City manager explains Russell's absence

Darel Russel found himself on the subs' bench at the weekend as City boss Peter Grant kept faith with youngsters Michael Spillane and Rossi Jarvis. The teenagers had performed well in the Carling Cup defeat at Manchester City last Tuesday, and with defenders Adam Drury and Gary Doherty and striker Darren Huckerby all passing fitness tests, it was Russell who was dropped, for the first time this season.

Darel Russel found himself on the subs' bench at the weekend as City boss Peter Grant kept faith with youngsters Michael Spillane and Rossi Jarvis.

The teenagers had performed well in the Carling Cup defeat at Manchester City last Tuesday, and with defenders Adam Drury and Gary Doherty and striker Darren Huckerby all passing fitness tests, it was Russell who was dropped, for the first time this season.

“I just think the way we wanted to keep the ball we would just be able to do that better,” said Grant, who admitted that Russell's fitness came into his thinking.

“You will have seen it a few times yourself, he has been caught with the ball under his feet, not been able to move it quickly enough and sometimes that comes down to not having enough games.

“So I just felt we could get away with Michael and Rossi in there because of the way Sheffield Wednesday played with two central midfield players. I just thought we could get that extra pass in and we did that, to some extent that worked, then all of a sudden do you change it then and bring Darel on just because of his spirit and everything else.

“Maybe that is a question I have got to ask myself - I have got to look at that and say that I can't have it both ways. If I want to pass but that's not happening when Darel is on the pitch and Julien (Brellier). I went another way to force us to pass it - we did that the other evening well and periods of today's game well, but you have to be able to do that all the time.

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“You are trying to manoeuvre it to make us play, to make us be positive and make us win, that is what we are trying.”

Grant admitted that Wednesday had a “leader” in midfield in Graham Kavanagh, signed on loan from Sunderland.

“I thought he did terrific for them, but I thought in the first period we played round him very well. But in that period when you need to be together they had that leadership from Graham, who has been around for a long long time.

“I think those type of players have gone, there's a chosen few now. Sometimes that's why you see me like a maniac on the side of the pitch, because that's the way I was, more of an organiser than the cultured footballer.

“I think in the modern day there are not many players like that and the ones that are like that are worth their weight in gold. We are crying out for both - we have the other side of it, young Michael and young Rossi. We are trying to do it an different way, passing and getting on the ball and that braveness, and those two showed that in the first half.

“Yes, Michael got sloppy on a couple of occasions but yes they were brave enough to get on the ball and I thought if they had done that and kept that going as the game went maybe things would have changed for us, but it wasn't to be.

“We ended up changing it, tried to go with the two wide players and the two forwards and trying to lift it ourselves.”