I’m usually pretty ambivalent about Sheffield Wednesday and their results, preferring to ignore them than rather than obsess as some do, says Matthew Bell.
However, I took a keen interest in last Monday night’s game at Hillsborough. The outcome was met with blessed relief in these parts.
I had been somewhat mystified by all the media talk informing anybody who was listening or reading that all Sheffield United fans were looking forward to a quarter-final derby. Well, I didn’t speak to anybody who wanted that.
It wasn’t the fear of losing to them that coloured people’s views – so I believe – but all the hype and over-the-top analysis it would have generated. There would have been vox-pop features in the papers and soundbites on television with people who know little about either club spouting their opinions on what was to come. Old players would have been rounded up to tell us what they think, despite not having seen either team play all season, fans who usually work alongside each other in civilised manner would have been at loggerheads and the police chief would have pleaded with everybody to behave themselves whilst at the same time planning for a siege.
The downside is that the thought might now be “it’s only Charlton, we’ve beaten three better teams than them already”. A League One team complacent in the quarter final of the FA Cup against a higher-ranked team? Who’d have thought it?
But that’s a while away yet and a sixth consecutive win at Colchester (and fifth clean sheet out of six) shows that Nigel Clough has his players’ minds still on the job. I mentioned a while ago how Clough was transforming his team in a similar manner to Howard Kendall did in 1995 by first making them hard to beat and then getting players to express themselves.