Sheffield Wednesday: Semedo constantly looking for new ways to give him an edge over playing rivals

WHEN it comes to analysing the DNA of all successful promotion sides, possessing the right mindset is a fundamental prerequisite.

Sheffield Wednesday player Jose Semedo with his book Win the Day.

And while Sheffield Wednesday players may be currently riding the crest of a wave after their exhilarating seasonal rise which sees them harbour hopes of not just making the Championship play-offs, but also breaking into the top two, getting ahead of themselves represents a potential danger.

As an exercise in avoiding the perils of overconfidence, a chat with midfielder Jose Semedo about the importance of possessing the right mentality at all times would represent a useful exercise for his team-mates if they are so inclined.

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Alternatively, reading extracts from his recently-released book Win The Day would prove just as enlightening.

Semedo, 31, clearly prides himself on being in tip-top mental condition at all times. Yet it was not always like that.

Not many footballers have monthly sessions with a sports psychologist, but Semedo does – as he has since his days at Charlton Athletic with sessions with psychologist Sam Kotadia helping to ‘tame the lion’ within him and convert at times impetuous midfielder into a thoroughly responsible one.

Losing focus is now anathema to the Portuguese and if any Owls player can be counted upon not to take anything as read in the run to the end of this season, it’s him.

After all, few if any players would go to their club and tell them they shouldn’t pay him a weekly wage – in disgust at his performance. Semedo once did.

It followed his display for the Owls’ in the 1-1 draw at Burnley in January 2014 – seven days on from the club’s 6-0 derby drubbing of Leeds United and starkly underlined his abhorence of poor standards.

He said: “I was so disappointed with my performance, I went up to the club office and told them not to pay me my wages that week.

“The emotional rush of a game is addictive, encouraging you to find ways to keep the rush going. I didn’t give myself time to regroup and come down from this great victory (against Leeds).

“My mind drifted to the outcome of winning the next game because of a natural desire to keep the emotional high going.

“I was living in a fantasy world throughout the whole week, pre-planning our celebrations in the evening with our families.

“I had already won the next game in my mind.”

Semedo’s words in his tome represent a salutary warning about the pitfalls of complacency and the importance of high standards at all times, with preparing professionally for a game not just about training with your team-mates, resting, eating and drinking the right things, but involving other more subtle elements too.

Having come through the system at Sporting Lisbon with great friend Cristiano Ronaldo as a youngster, Semedo was afforded a case study of a player blessed not just with exquisite skills, but sky-high standards.

That ultimately led to Semedo meeting up with Kotadia, with the pair’s relationship such that they subsequently collaborated on a book project last year.

Kotadia said: “I was introduced to Jose at Charlton when I was working with Phil Parkinson. We are good friends and the manager felt he would benefit from using psychology to help him deal with setbacks and dips in the game a little bit better to build consistency.

“Growing up with Ronaldo, Jose always wanted to get better. Phil knew he was open-minded and receptive to new ideas.

“He knew how important the mind and the brain was in performance – it’s the super computer behind everything we do. He wanted to maximise his ability, not exactly fix problems.

“The great thing is that he is not only using the advice that we gave him, but also sharing that with other players now. That shows what a good person he is.”