Darren’s rallying cry to the fans

Wednesday go into tomorrow’s final league game of the season knowing that victory over Portsmouth at a sellout Hillsborough will take us into the division one play-offs with a fourth place finish.

We are one of four teams battling for the three remaining play-off spots and, while a draw or even defeat against Pompey could still see us land a top six place, we don’t want to be relying on others to slip up on what is likely to be a nervy 90 minutes for most of the capacity 33,500 crowd.

Our 3-2 midweek win at Fleetwood took Wednesday into fourth place on 82 points and with a goal difference of plus 25. Sunderland (plus 25 gd) are a place and a point behind us, with Plymouth in sixth on 80 points (plus 25 gd) and Wycombe in seventh also on 80 points (plus 23 gd).

While we entertain Portsmouth, Sunderland are at Morecambe, Plymouth at home to MK Dons and Wycombe away to Burton.

Darren Moore has hinted that he is likely to select the same squad that played at Fleetwood.

However, Harlee Dean might return to the 18 after his injury at MK Dons while Saido Berahino, on the bench at Fleetwood, may replace Callum Paterson in the starting line-up.

Josh Windass is expected to be amongst the subs again after returning to the matchday squad on Tuesday following his lengthy injury lay-off.

Former Wednesday youngster George Hirst, son of S6 hero David, is ready to lead the Portsmouth attack on his return to Hillsborough and fresh from scoring twice in their 3-2 win over leaders Wigan on Tuesday evening.

Owls boss Darren Moore said of tomorrow’s game: “If you are a manager and you have a home sellout crowd it shows one or two things must be going right for that to happen.

“We’ve all got a part to play, every one has done theirs so far – but we haven’t achieved anything yet and we need to keep going tomorrow.

”We know it’s going to be a tough game and we know we’ll have to be at our best to get the result we want.”

Referring to the fans, Moore added: “They will play a huge part. They are like the 12th man.

“The support home and away all season has been excellent. They have been consistent with their support.

“It is great to hear there will be a full-house tomorrow. A big thank you to them and my message is for them to come and sing their hearts out for the team.”

Skipper Barry Bannan said: “The fans have been brilliant. I have been lucky to be here for a lot of years now and witness a full house at Hillsborough and there are not many places better.

“It will be a first for some of the boys tomorrow. When you get the fans, it is like a 12th man at times.

“We are looking forward to having that tomorrow to push us on to get the big three points that we need.”

The match is a 12.30pm kick off.


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