Former Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk has suggested that the Owls could hold a potential mental advantage over Derby County on the final day of the campaign in their must-win clash.
The Owls were held to a frustrating goalless draw at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday. It was a result that would have seen them relegated had the Rams picked up a point or a victory in their game at Swansea City.
However, despite taking the lead in that game, Derby ended up conceding two goals in quick succession to fall to a 2-1 defeat.
As a result, Sheffield Wednesday are still alive heading into their final day meeting with the Rams. The Owls know that they have to win that game to finish above Derby and then also rely on what Rotherham United do with their two remaining matches. Darren Moore’s side will need to just go for it and hope that everything else falls in their favour.
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Speaking to Sky Sports, via the Sheffield Star, Monk suggested that the fact Sheffield Wednesday know that they just have to simply win to give themselves a chance of survival means that from a mentality point of view they could find it much easier than Derby on the final day.
He said: “I think, hopefully, from Sheffield Wednesday’s point of view, that they’ve learned a bit from today where they played the game quite tentatively and to not make a mistake.
“That’s understandable, but then they ended up making some big mistakes that thankfully weren’t punished. They’re still the ones that are chasing and this is the last chance.
“For the teams below Derby, maybe it’s a bit easier in terms of mentality because it is that last chance. There are no other games after this, they need to go for it.”
Monk is right in the sense that Sheffield Wednesday face less potential mental permutations to calculate on the final day of the season than Derby do. For the Owls it is simple they know they have to just go out and take all three points and then hope for the best in terms of what happens with Rotherham’s game against Cardiff City.
Derby on the other hand, will have to keep a watchful eye on what the Millers are doing and could even be at a stage where a point might be enough for them. Therefore, it would be difficult for the Rams to know what to do and whether to attack the game or not. Monk could be right that the Owls might be able to take advantage of that.
Sheffield Wednesday though did not really do enough to take the game to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, and if they had one the game it would have put them in an even better position ahead of the Derby game from a psychological perspective. Now they will have to try and find a win from somewhere and must give their all to do that.