Sheffield Wednesday: Helan in mood for crunch clash

Jeremy Helan believes that Wednesday's football has improved

Jeremy Helan believes that Wednesday's football has improved

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Jeremy Helan heads for Oakwell today believing that previous Yorkshire derbies have left him well prepared for the crunch clash with Barnsley.

The winger is also encouraged by a feeling that though the Owls have yet to win this season they are playing better football than at times in the 2012-13 campaign.

Since his arrival from Manchester City, first on loan then in a £300,000 summer deal, he has figured against Barnsley twice, Huddersfield, Leeds twice, Rotherham and Doncaster.

“I think the players are ready; we want to get on that pitch and get the best possible result,” he said.

“I believe we are playing better football than last year. Maybe that’s the reason why the players still cannot believe we haven’t got that win. Sometimes last year we got three points without even playing well.

“It’s surprising. If we can win this big game at Barnsley, confidence will be high.”

He pointed out that Wednesday have dominated some games and deserved to win.

But he sees a distinction between this season and last.

There were times before when the team, though leading, feared they might have victory snatched away from them near the end, so the mood was one of relief when they secured three points.

This time, when they have been leading and playing well and just looking for a killer second goal, the feeling has been one of frustration when the opposition have equalised or held out.

The 21-year-old feels that the Owls cannot dwell on the fact that they need a win, after going 11 league games without one.

“It’s not the same as if we had been losing. We’ve gone close (to winning),” he said. “At Bolton, we came back (from a goal down) and were well in the game.

“If you start with the mentality that you have on your shoulders the pressure of needing a win, it’s not so good.

“Sometimes you could feel as if you are not doing the right thing or are scared of doing things.”

“You should play freely and the win will come when it will come, and we’ll be enjoying it.”

Dave Jones too feels that players should believe in their ability and not be afraid to take responsibility and be brave on the ball.”

Helan, with his pace on the left wing, plays an important part in the Owls attacking armoury, and is a useful outlet on the break away from home.

He says of tdoay’s game: “It’s a big derby, especially with the positions that both clubs are in.

“Everyone is looking forward to the game, which is very important. Last year, the pressure was the same for both clubs. It will be the same this time. Last time, we came away with a 1-0 win there. Hopefully we can do that again.”

Helan acknowledges it was a “controversial” winner by Chris O’Grady, which the Reds felt should have been disallowed for a challenge on the keeper by Gary Madine.

He says that disputed decisions will happen in football - for example Jermaine Johnson’s disallowed goal and Jose Semedo’s sending-off at Bolton last week.

“Last time at Barnsley it was rather controversial, with the goal we scored,” he said. “It went our way. Maybe it will go our way again. we don’t know. We will have to wait and see.”

Helan is glad to see his friend Reda Johnson fit after injury problems and back in the team, regaining his form, and believes he is a good deputy captain.