Darren Moore was pleased with how his Sheffield Wednesday side dug in on Friday evening.
The first leg of the Owls’ play-off semi-finals took place on Friday night, with the team falling to a 1-0 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Moore admits that his side were under the cosh for the majority of the game, but he was happy with how his side fought for every inch throughout the match.
The Wednesday boss believes it keeps the team in position going into the reverse fixture on Monday.
The 48-year old believes a place at Wembley is still very much up for grabs, despite the dominant nature of Sunderland’s win on Friday.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Moore, via The Northern Echo.
“I’ve played loads of times here as a player and come here as a manager and when the crowd gets up like that, it’s a difficult place.
“The disappointing thing for me about the game was we didn’t use the ball as well as we could, but give Sunderland credit, they put a lot of energy into the game, worked, pressed us and used the ball well.
“It’s not easy here with a full house under the lights. The positives were that the boys were dogged and put their bodies on the line.
“The goal was avoidable and we accept that, but after about 60, 65 minutes I just felt the energy on the pitch changed and we finished the game a lot stronger without looking really that threatening.”
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Wednesday had ended the League One season in good form, winning four of their final five league games to secure a top six finish in a fiercely competitive field.
The Owls finished above Sunderland in the table, coming 4th behind MK Dons.
The two meetings between these clubs resulted in a 5-3 aggregate during the league season, but with a 5-0 and 3-0 result to the home sides in their respective fixtures.
Moore will be hoping for another 3-0 win on Monday, which would secure a place in this season’s play-off final.
The improvement in result will be a big lift for Wednesday compared to the 5-0 hammering they received at the Stadium of Light in December.
But the team will still need a vastly improved performance to turn around the 1-0 deficit to the Black Cats on Monday.
Their whole season now boils down to this final home fixture of the season.
It will be a huge clash, and both sides will be incredibly disappointed if they fall at the final hurdle of reaching Wembley.