View From T'Other Side: Sheffield Wednesday

Last updated : 16 January 2010 By Rob Miles (Barnsley Boy)

12 matches without a win… What’s going wrong at Wednesday? Are performances that bad or is there just a little ingredient missing?

A severe lack of belief, we were hammering the opposition in games for 45 minutes at the start of the season and giving the game away (as you saw in August!) The players just seemed to lose faith, ironically the last time we really played well was against our new manager’s side at our place, and we did it again.. in front, and threw it away.
It has to change, we thought it did against Newcastle on Boxing Day and then reverted to type in the FA Cup..
We have players who appear to have turned rubbish overnight.
I can't put my finger on it though in truth, I hope to god Alan Irvine can!

What is the right time for Brian Laws to move on? I’ve heard from a lot of Wednesday supporters who wanted to see Laws lead them back to the Premier League.

Now don't get me wrong, Lawsy had the backing of most of the Wednesday fans for a long time and as you say many people think he was harshly treated, and for the most part he did a great job with what he had. But something had to give, and as I said the players seemed to change. Had he lost the dressing room? Some would say yes, but tactics went stale and substitutions at times bordered on bonkers. He went at the right time, but it's taken us too long to sort out the new man which COULD cost us dearly.

Is all the off field controversy sorted at Hillsborough now? Are the fans behind Lee Strafford and his plans?

I would say most are behind the chairman, it's still all rumour and with all the stuff that's been banded around in the papers over the past decade or so has shrouded everything that comes out of Hillsborough.
Until the deal is done and the manager is given some considerable backing there will be doubters, but Strafford raised the bar, is approachable and knows how much this club means to us as he is one of us.
He will do what’s right, but it needs to be sooner rather than later and we are expecting some news by the end of the month.

At the start of the season the talk around S6 was of a play-off push, would the majority of Wednesday supporters now accept fourth bottom considering the predicament or is there a feeling this season could still be salvaged?

I think fourth bottom is salvaging our season, we are on a run that is the worst I have witnessed in my 34 or so years of supporting our side. The slide needs halting, the play off talk was at the very top of what COULD have happened. But the right minded amongst us didn't think it would happen. The summer signings haven't worked so really we have the same side as last year apart from the odd one that left. It's the same old situation where we still hear all the clichés, sleeping giant, big club in waiting etc.. Name call all you like, results matter reputation doesn't, especially in the position we are in.

Alan Irvine’s the new man at the helm. Support that appointment?

I do, it was always going to be a somewhat underwhelming appointment. To expect a big name was a joke although I do think the chairman's comments hyped up our next manager a little in regards to what we should expect. But Irvine had a good record at Preston, saw them into the playoffs after rescuing a similar situation to what we are in at Deepdale a couple of years ago.
It's said he's a player’s manager, and a good coach. We need both so let's hope he is as good as people say.

In this season of turmoil, who has been the stand out player for Wednesday and has Marcus Tudgay now settled back down after the Burnley rumours?

He never really has got going in truth this season, yes he's scored six but performance wise he has been criticised a lot. He hasn't been the talisman of previous seasons and definitely had his head turned. A goal would do wonders for him and I think he COULD replicate last seasons form, but we need a result as well.

Team news for Saturday?

We lost Luke Varney who has gone back to Derby which I think is a loss. But we have got Akpo Sodje back who is said to have done well on loan at Charlton, he could offer us something different and will be keen to prove to Irvine that he deserves his chance as will the rest of the squad.
The only certainty is Lee Grant in goal to be honest.

What have you made of Barnsley’s season so far? To be 11 points above the Wednesday must hurt? Slightly?

Normally I'd say you lot being above us hurts, having spent much of my life living in Barnsley after moving from Sheffield when I was a young lad. But we are too busy thinking about what's happening at our place to worry about others.
But you lot have done well, Robins has done a cracking job and I think we all knew he would. I saw your games against Preston and West Brom at Oakwell and it was chalk and cheese, Preston ripped you to bits and vice versa against West Brom, you deserved to win easily. Although the abuse of Chris Brunt annoyed me!!!

Prediction for Saturday and the rest of the season for both clubs?

We need a win and a performance, not necessarily a footballing performance but one full of passion and commitment. Add that to the new man and I have to say we could sneak it, and a sneaky win I would be all over. So 1-0 to us will do!
I do think we will stay up, and I don't think of relegation... YET, but it looms dangerously close.

As for you lot, I think you will finish 10-14th based on recent form. If you got Billy Sharp or a player like him then I think you would finish nearer 10th. Robins is shrewd and I think he's building for next season already.

Lets hope Terry's wrong with his prediction this weekend and The Reds can get their first win in 2010, to see my answers to Terry's questions click here