Sheffield ‘derby date’ disappears

Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton: Dejection at final whistle. Chris Maguire on his knees.

Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton: Dejection at final whistle. Chris Maguire on his knees.

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Stuart Gray has described the Owls’ first half performance against Charlton as the worst 45 minutes since he joined the club.

They fought back in the second half but still lost 2-1 as the Addicks booked an FA Cup quarter-final spot against Sheffield United.

“You can’t play like we did in the first half and expect to win games” said the Owls boss. “It was 27 minutes before we got a cross into the box, 40 minutes before we got a shot, 41 before we got a tackle and 44 before we got a corner. I sensed there was a good atmosphere in the dressing room, but suddenly whether it was nerves that took over, that’s the worst 45 minutes I’ve been involved with since I’ve been here.” (Dec 2012)

He added: “The players have missed a great opportunity to get to the quarter-finals against the local rivals, and a possible opportunity to play at Wembley.

“I could not see that (performance) coming. We had a go second half; we built up a bit of momentum. But I’ve said to the players: ‘You’ve got to start right from the word go.’ It’s the FA Cup - there’s a quarter-final place at stake. We showed more commitment desire and effort in the first half at Huddersfield on Saturday. It was on our patch, we’d got a fantastic turn-out, I’m just so disappointed.”

Charlton boss Chris Powell said: “Everybody was talking about the potential Sheffield derby; we sort of went under the radar; we knew that would help physically and mentally. We travelled up with calmness. The players were excellent. It will be really tough against Sheffield United; they have had some good results recently.”