It was right time to leave Turf – Wallace

GOAL...Owls Ross Wallace puts Wednesday into a 1-0 lead
GOAL...Owls Ross Wallace puts Wednesday into a 1-0 lead
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Ross Wallace returns to Turf Moor with Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow, insisting the time was right to move on in the summer.

The 30-year-old wideman spent five years with the Clarets, having been signed by Brian Laws in the summer of 2010 from neighbours Preston North End for a fee reportedly in the region of £750,000.

He made 165 appearances, scoring 14 goals, but saw his opportunities limited in his last couple of seasons with the club, having signed a two-year extension shortly after Sean Dyche’s arrival.

The Scotland international featured in all bar 18 league games in his first three seasons, but, after a knee operation at the start of the 2013/14 promotion season, made only 14 league appearances that term, and 15 last season in the top flight, starting only once in the 4-0 reverse at West Brom.

And he admitted: “I think, for the majority of the time I was there, I played well and I’d like to think I always put a shift in for the club.

“Unfortunately, for the last year and a half or so, I couldn’t break back into the team.

“I shook hands with the manager and wished the lads all the best

“I had a great time, but it was time for me to move on in the summer.

“I had bits and bobs, good moments, like at Leicester and coming on against Aston Villa, but I couldn’t get a run of three or four games.

“That was what I needed, but the team was playing well, and it was hard to break in, with the competition for places.

“I was there five years, it’s a long time, and I loved my time at Burnley. The fans were great with me, and it will be nice to come back and see a few friendly faces.

“But I’m coming back hoping to get the win.”

Despite a lack of game time, Wallace had no hard feelings, and is a big fan of boss Sean Dyche: “I had a good spell there, and worked with some good players and managers.

“But the manager is good at understanding players and their needs, and he shaped the team well.

“He has made them hard to beat, and they have quality as well.

“Overall, it’s been a really successful time since he came in.

“The highlight has to be winning promotion to the Premier League - we had a really tight group, most of which are still there, although they’ve lost some big players.

“They’ve signed some big players as well, a few strikers, and they will be hoping to replace Danny Ings’ goals.

“They are fancied to get promotion back to the Premier League, and they will be a scalp.

“It’s similar for us in a strange sort of way, having spent a lot of money.”

Wallace is one of 15 permanent signings at Hillsborough, with five loans as well, in a rejigged Owls squad.

Wednesday have started the season with one win, two draws and two defeats in the league - with Wallace on target in the 2-1 loss at Ipswich.

There have been two Capital One Cup wins as well, and Wallace said: “There’s been a big turnover of players here, obviously we’re not going to get it right straight away.

“We will be up and down as we get used to each other, but once we gel, we have some very good players.

“I’m pleased with how it’s started - we’ve been playing some good stuff. We could have done better, but we’ll improve as the season goes on.”