Sheffield Wednesday are set to take on Derby County in a dramatic final day showdown at Pride Park, as both teams battle to stay in the Championship.
The Owls’ faint survival hopes were hanging by the loosest of threads heading into the 3pm kick offs on Saturday, after Darren Moore’s side only earned a point in a goalless draw with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough.
If Derby County were to pick up a point from their clash against Swansea City later that day, then Sheffield Wednesday would have been relegated into League One.
But despite taking the lead on the day through Tom Lawrence, Derby were left to rue missed opportunities, as Swansea City ran out narrow 2-1 winners at the Liberty Stadium.
That means that Sheffield Wednesday are now just three points behind Derby in the Championship table, and will know that a win over the Rams would see them move ahead of Rooney’s men in the second-tier standings on the final day of the 2021/22 campaign.
Speaking in a post-match press conference after their defeat to Swansea City, Rooney highlighted the importance of the clash between the Owls and the Rams next week.
“We know we have to win the game next week, I think that’s simple. The preparations this week won’t be anything crazy or drastic – there won’t be big changes and we’re prepare the way we prepare for any game. It’s on us to get the players ready, and we have to go and win.
“We don’t’ have to look over our shoulders to find out how they’re getting on, because we’ll have them in front of us. It’s a game where we have to want it more, and I’ll make sure the players are ready. If win the game, and we have a big chance of staying up.”
Did Derby County sign each of these players on a free transfer or not?
What a game this promises to be on the final day of the season.
Things don’t get more dramatic than this, and from a neutral’s point of view, it’s set to be an exciting game to watch on Saturday.
I’m stunned that Sheffield Wednesday are still in with a chance of retaining their Championship status heading into the final day to be honest, as the Owls have been nowhere near good enough in recent matches.
The only team that have been arguably worse than them in recent weeks is Derby County, and it’ll be interesting to see how Rooney’s side approach the game, as their plan could change if Rotherham United are to beat Luton Town in midweek.
I really wouldn’t be surprised to see the Owls add to Rooney’s troubles at Derby with a win on the final day.