Sheffield Wednesday have announced Darren Moore as their new first-team manager.
Moore leaves Wednesday’s South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster Rovers, where he has spent the last 19 months in charge and departs with the club sixth in League One.
The 46-year-old takes immediate charge of the Owls, replacing Neil Thompson, who was placed in temporary charge after Tony Pulis' 45-day spell came to an end, and will face local rivals Rotherham United in his first game with the club.
Jamie Smith is understood to have also made the move to Wednesday to take on the role of assistant manager, with Paul Williams set to join. Thompson will, reportedly, remain part of the first team, with Lee Bullen and Steve Haslam returning to their youth team roles.
Darren Moore’s footballing CV
Moore also made three appearances for the Jamaican national team.
On 2 April 2018, Moore was appointed as caretaker manager of the Baggies for the rest of the campaign after Alan Pardew was sacked, with the club ten points from safety.
Moore had an exceptional start to life in the hot seat, going unbeaten in April, earning him the 'Premier League Manager of the Month' award, but the club were relegated following Southampton’s victory over former Owls boss Carlos Carvahal's Swansea City.
He was appointed as the permanent head coach of West Brom at the end of the season, and at the time of his dismissal on 2 March 2019, the club were sat fourth in the Championship and on course for finishing in the play-off places.
Moore was appointed as the manager of Doncaster in July 2019, replacing Hull City-bound Grant McCann.
He continued the club’s remit of building a side to return to the Championship, and missed out on the League One play-off positions on a points-per-game basis - the method used to end the season due to the impact of the Coronavirus - finishing ninth with a 1.59 PPG.
The 46-year-old leaves Rovers in sixth in the division, with the club eight points away from the automatic promotion positions and with two games in hand.
Situation at Hillsborough
Moore goes from a squad battling for promotion to a side deprived of confidence and fighting for survival.
The Owls sit 23rd in the league table and are six points from safety, though, interim boss Thompson did a modest job in picking up some vital results over his 13-game period.
With 14 fixtures left, the Owls’ third permanent manager of the season has been brought in to take on the monumental task of trying to keep the club in the Championship.
Wednesday face several tricky fixtures in their final run-in, confronting promotion-fighting Norwich City, Reading, Watford, and Swansea City in that time, as well as in-form clubs Barnsley and Cardiff City. They also face Rotherham and Huddersfield Town, who are both struggling at the bottom of the Championship.
How can Moore help Wednesday?
In appointing Moore, the Owls have shown promise by choosing someone respected and ambitious, taking on a huge task whereas he could have basked in potential success with Rovers.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙜𝙖𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧 pic.twitter.com/ZinrSxcOQn— Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) March 1, 2021
Moore’s job, first and foremost, will be to try and keep the Owls in England’s second tier, which seems increasingly unlikely after suffering a defeat to 21st-placed Birmingham City, and surrendering a two-goal lead to lose against Luton Town on Saturday in their last two games.
An encouraging stat is that Moore has a win percentage of over 44% for his last two jobs. Furthermore, in his short Premier League stint, he picked up victories at Old Trafford and St James Park, as well as beating Tottenham Hotspur and drawing with Liverpool – this run could spark optimism, considering the difficulty of some of their opponents in the coming weeks.
However, if Moore fails to keep the Owls in the Championship, he should be given the opportunity to help build the club back up in a bid for an immediate return to the division, having experienced League One for the past two campaigns.
Overall, this is a great appointment from Sheffield Wednesday. Moore is a positive coach and has seemingly ignited good reactions from the sides that he has managed, being highly-thought of in the management game. The best-case scenario for Wednesday is that Moore will have the desired bounce in confidence and the Owls can pick up some vital results in maintaining their Championship status.