Danny Wilson is “very proud” to be the first Sheffield derby boss ever to have managed both teams.
And the former Hillsborough chief reckons Sunday’s clash will be “even more intense” than normal because of the desperation of both clubs to regain former glories.
But Wilson insists his own unique role will be forgotten once the first ball is kicked. He is concentrating on a bid to make Blackpool winger Matt Phillips the first of at least TWO signings in time for Bramall Lane on Sunday.
Wilson, whose appointment by the Blades sparked controversy, is happy to live with his place in history.
“I’m really proud of that; very proud of it,” he said. “Throughout your career, little milestones drive you on. But once the first ball is kicked in anger it won’t matter to anybody.
“This is a fans’ game. It’s not about me, even if people will still make it out to be. You can’t rewrite history but it is of no consequence. It’s just very important to get a good result for the fans.”
To that end, Wilson is acutely conscious of his team’s lack of pace and maybe also of Wednesday’s edge in that department. Asked about Phillips, he said: “We’re hopeful - and we’re chasing a few more as well. I’m also mindful that a player from outside can go in without fear.”
The stakes are certainly no lower for the drop in status that makes this fixture a third class affair compared with the top flight duels Wilson was part of in his Owls’ playing days.
He added: “The two clubs share unfortunate similarities so if anything it will be even more intense in this position. There is a need and desire to get back where we belong, so it could be more passionate.
“Gary (Megson) and myself make it more topical, I suppose. We are two passionate people heading up two massive clubs. And form is of no consequence whatsoever. The atmosphere makes it very difficult and very different.
“Having experienced them, there is a high fever in these games and players can make decisions they wouldn’t normally make. So there is a need for calmness as well in order to play your football; to make sure you are not over-excited in certain areas.
“But we will have to be ready for a really high tempo start to the game. There’ll be no settling in period. It will be hammer and tongs.”
Wilson - who had a “fantastic relationship” with Wednesday fans but “doesn’t care” what reception he gets on Sunday - insisted the five-point gap between the sides “doesn’t count for anything at this stage.”
And he is looking to his team’s greater experience of derbies - via the likes of Nick Montgomery and Stephen Quinn - to count in their favour. “It will be a big help and it’s good to have them around to talk to the younger lads,” he said.
But Wilson is mindful of the greater League One background of Megson’s line-up. “They have very experienced players who know this league,” he said. “And an experienced manager. It will be a fantastic occasion and above all we have to look for a good result for the fans. We want to do it for them.”