Sheffield Wednesday assistant manager Jamie Smith has suggested that they will be monitoring the score line throughout Derby County’s meeting with Birmingham City tomorrow, but that his sole focus will be on the Owls’ game.
The Owls are bracing themselves for another very nervous afternoon when they take on Middlesbrough, and they know they have to secure all three points to keep their hopes of survival alive. Sheffield Wednesday just about kept themselves in with a chance of staying up thanks to a much-needed 1-0 win against Blackburn Rovers in midweek and they need a repeat of that here.
The win against Blackburn, coupled with Derby’s 3-0 loss at Preston, means that they head into the weekend just four points adrift of safety. However, were they to lose and Derby to claim all three points then their relegation to League One would be confirmed. That means they will have to keep a watchful eye on what is happening in their clash with Birmingham.
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Speaking to the media, ahead of the Owls’ clash with Middlesbrough, Smith revealed that Sheffield Wednesday will have someone filtering the news of Derby’s game to them on the bench. However, he insisted his main focus will be on ensuring they pick up all three points in their game.
He said: “I’m sure things will filter through to the bench but I will be concentrating solely on our game.”
There is little room for error left now for the Owls and they at the very least have to avoid defeat at Middlesbrough in case Derby do earn all three points against Birmingham. However, even a draw would not really be good enough for them in the situation that they find themselves in at the moment, it is seemingly win or bust for them.
Smith will be aware that if Derby are losing their game, then the Owls can close the gap on them to just a single point with two games to play. Therefore, keeping an eye on the score line of their game could potentially serve as a motivation for Sheffield Wednesday if the Rams are trailing at any stage.
It is frustrating that it has come to this kind of scenario for the Owls, and if they are to stay up against the odds then all of their remaining games will feel as tense as Saturday will. They just need to take it one game at a time and hope other results swing their way as well.