How Sheffield Wednesday’s experience can pull them clear of Championship trouble
Tuesday’s victory over Wycombe proved a case in point, according to caretaker manager Neil Thompson, who is expecting more of the same from his leaders in the weeks and months ahead.
Should Wednesday show the same togetherness, application and game management that they did in midweek on a regular basis and they will be extremely well placed to secure safety.
On the importance of the club’s senior brigade, who have been through a lot in their time at S6, Thompson acknowledged: “Without a shadow of a doubt. They will have experienced a lot of ups and downs in their careers and it is not always a smooth road.
“There’s the likes of Westy (Keiren Westwood), Leesy (Tom Lees), Chey Dunkley, Hutch (Sam Hutchinson), Baz (Barry Bannan) and Reachy (Adam Reach), Rhodesy (Jordan Rhodes) and Pato (Callum Paterson) and they are experienced players and know how it works.
“They have got to sacrifice themselves for the team and they have been doing that. We applied ourselves really well the other night – from the senior players to the young players. They stuck together and you get the result and it energises you.”
Up front, the input of both Rhodes and Paterson has come to the fore of late, to the delight of Thompson.
The 57-year-old has also pinpointed a significant development in the game of Rhodes of late – added aggression.
He observed: “He always applies himself and I think you can see in his play that he has added a bit of aggression, which he needed to do. We spoke about that.
“He has applied himself brilliantly. Long may that continue.”
Paterson’s scoring form has spoken for itself of late, with Thompson also enthused by several other qualities shown by the Scot, as close to a low-maintenance footballer as it gets.
He added: “He is an old-fashioned centre-forward and a bit of a throwback. He will run through brick walls and scores goals.
“They can be a bit scruffy, but he gets on the end of stuff and the work-rate he gives is key as the ball does not come back as easy.
“He comes in, does his work and disappears and long may that continue with all of them.”
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