Tom Lees will miss our final two games of the season after being stretchered off at Middlesbrough last Saturday.
Assistant manager, Jamie Smith, has confirmed that Lees suffered ligament damage when he landed following an aerial challenge at the Riverside and is ruled out of tomorrow’s must-win home game with Forest and then the possible last day shootout decider at Derby.
We go into tomorrow’s televised lunchtime kick off against Forest four points from safety (played 44 – 39 points) and with just those two matches left. That means fellow strugglers Derby (played 44 – 43 points) and Rotherham (played 43 – 39 points) will know our result by the time they kick off at 3pm, away to Swansea and at home to Blackburn respectively.
From the permutations of the three clubs’ results tomorrow, there are different scenarios that could still be left to be played out, particularly as Rotherham also have a midweek game at Luton.
However, we know we need to better Derby’s result tomorrow to avoid being relegated on the day, while a win for the Rams and coupled with defeats for us and Rotherham, would see both ourselves and the Millers going down to division one.
Smith, continuing to deputise for boss Darren Moore in his recovery from pneumonia, said today of the Forest game: “We’re just focused on ourselves, we can’t worry about everyone else. We know what we’ve got to do.”
He added: “We know what is at stake, it’s a massive game for us. All our focus is on Nottingham Forest and we’re prepared and looking forward to it.
“The feeling around the training ground, from the players and the staff, is that we can achieve what we’re trying to do.”
Moore, who this week thanked everyone for their messages of support and good wishes in his recovery from illness, said of his ongoing absence: “I am gutted, really gutted, because I want to be there, I want to be there at the heart of it, but I have to rest. In my absence, the staff have been more than efficient and will continue to be so.”
Talking of the Forest match, he added: “We are not looking at two games, just Saturday as we have to see these games as isolated situations. There is nothing we can do about what happens anywhere else, we have to maintain focus on Nottingham Forest and what this game entails.
“We know the parameters and the players will continue to prepare to go out there and look to deliver that elite performance required.”
The game is live on Sky Sports, kicking off at 12.30pm, and there will be a minute’s silence ahead of the match in memory of all those from the Wednesday family who have passed since January 2020.
The players and staff will also wear black armbands.