Date: 20th February 2011 at 9:58pm
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Wednesdayites couldn’t take too many positives from Saturday’s FA Cup demolition at Birmingham City on Saturday, but there was at least one…

…the performance of young midfielder Liam Palmer.

Palmer may not have had a huge impact on the game – he was only introduced at half-time – and he may be far from the finished product right now, but he showed in those 45 minutes why he should be given a starting role in those famous blue and white stripes sooner rather than later.

Owls fans have been crying out for new midfielders to arrive at the club, mainly thanks to one-too-many below-par performances from James O’Connor, and Darren Potter, who’ve been involved as a pair in Wednesday’s central midfield for way too long.

But maybe the answer has been right under our noses all along?

When in times of desperation, pretty much as Wednesday find themselves now in npower League One, it’s always easy to call for the young lads to come in and show the more experienced first-team players how it’s down.

It’s not always the right thing to do to throw these young players in at the deep end, it rarely is.

Wednesday have been victims of throwing young players in before, other clubs too, and I’m sure we won’t be the last.

But from Palmer’s, albeit brief, performances for Wednesday so far, the signs are that he can come in and very much do a job in the Owls’ midfield.

He looked composed, confident and showed sharp passing, even though the tie was pretty much dead in the water, with Alex McLeish’s men having all-but sealed their progression within an hour.

This against Barclays Premier League players, quality players who he won’t be facing in League One.

The youngster has probably shown more than the vast majority of players at Hillsborough since Gary Megson’s arrival at the club.

The Owls boss said of the midfielder post-Birmingham ‘Liam Palmer was a big plus point when he came on for the second half. He held the ball well and looked comfortable. He showed he can handle the occasion.’

The 19-year-old has only started once for Wednesday, playing for just over an hour in the Owls’ slender 1-0 victory over Bury in the Carling Cup earlier this season.

He’s made a handful of appearances from the bench, and his talent has also been spotted by Scotland, who’ve acted quickly in taking him into their under-19 set-up, something which can only help his progression.

There’s the saying that ‘if they’re good enough, they’re old enough’, and Palmer certainly seems to have shown that he’s up to the task of starting in Wednesday’s midfield.

The trick is not to expect too much, too soon, from seemingly the brightest prospect to have come through the ranks at S6 in a few seasons.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see Megson’s starting line-ups for the next couple of games, and see if he picks Palmer, something which former boss Alan Irvine did just once from a starting role.