Home form looks crucial as survival battle gets tougher

Tomorrow’s home clash with Preston becomes an almost ‘must-win’ game for Wednesday … even though we have nearly half of our Championship fixtures still to play.

The lacklustre defeat away to Coventry in midweek sees us still six points from safety in 23rd place in the table and, with five of our eight games in February away from home, victories at Hillsborough become crucial if we are to have a realistic chance of survival.

When you add in the fact that those upcoming away matches are at Bournemouth, Millwall, Stoke, Brentford and Luton then, even without the home fans, you can see how important it is to get some wins in the S6 games.

We have won our last three Championship matches at Hillsborough and, when asked at today’s press conference how important it is not to allow that six-point gap to get any bigger, caretaker boss Neil Thompson said: “Absolutely. We have got to start picking up results and dragging teams in and getting people looking over their shoulders.

“That’s what we are aiming to do. The fact of the matter is we have not won enough games and we have to somehow turn that around.

“Pressure is part of playing in this division. We have got to embrace the pressure and react in the right manner. Too many times we have gone behind this season and not come back. We have got to somehow find that resilience and bounce back when things go against us.

“There will be times in a game where you will have your backs against the wall because that is the Championship. They might score and put you under pressure for five or 10 minutes and you have got to be able to bounce back. We have to be able to tough things out when we need to.”

Moses Odubajo is ruled out of the Preston game with a hamstring injury and the match will come too early for Chey Dunkley who is back in training after his lay-off.

This means that, by and large, Thompson is likely to stick with the squad that returned pointless and goalless from the Coventry game.

Off the pitch, the stand-in boss still waits for further news on the vacant manager’s job, which remains unfilled since Tony Pulis was axed just before the start of the year.

Reports also continue to link promising youngster Liam Shaw – out-of-contract in the summer – with a possible move to Celtic, while Wednesday appear to be one of several clubs interested in Crewe’s young left back, Harry Pickering.


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