Sheffield Wednesday mentality gives Will Vaulks belief they can beat the Championship drop

Will Vaulks says the mentality of Sheffield Wednesday's squad gives him belief they can avoid relegation from the Championship this season, and there is no point dwelling on the points dropped since the international break that means their fate is still in the balance.

With just three games to play – at Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, at home to West Bromwich Albion the following Saturday, and at Sunderland on May 4 – the Owls remain in the relegation zone they have been mired in all season, but are only a point from safety.

Huddersfield Town (who face Swansea City, Birmingham City and Ipswich Town on the last three weekends) are level on points with them.

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It could have been different had the Owls held onto their lead at home to Stoke City – three points better off – rather than recording a third straight home draw. The Terriers also surrendered a 1-0 lead, at Bristol City.

Speaking at the Football League awards which saw him named as its player in the community for a third time, midfielder Vaulks said there is no room for "what ifs".

"It's been an unbelievable season for us in so many ways," reflected the former Rotherham United player. "If you'd asked us 20 games ago would you like with three games to go to be in with a chance we'd probably have taken it so we have to look at the positives.

"We know in the last three games we could have taken more points, we should have taken more points, we deserved more points but that's in the past now. We can't look back, we have to look forward.

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BELIEF: Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Will VaulksBELIEF: Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Will Vaulks
BELIEF: Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Will Vaulks

"We have three massive games to finish the season and I believe in us as a team, in the manager, the players we've got and the mentality we have. I'm looking forward to it."

Vaulks was rewarded for his charity work, particularly with Beacon of Hope, which raises awareness around suicide prevention.

"You don't volunteer or do a bit extra for charities because you want to win an award," said Vaulks, a volunteer at Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice in Sheffield.

"It's nice to be recognised and for me it's about raising awareness for causes that mean a lot to me.

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"I lost both my grandfathers, Hywel and Tom, to suicide when I was 14 and 15, in a really short space of time.

"We mourn the loss of people but it's about preventing suicide and being really up front and realistic, asking people how they're feeling. My mum and dad both lost their dads so it was a cause that meant a lot to me and I want to champion that as best I can.

"Previously the work I've done's never been related to myself, it's always been whatever the club, hospices or whoever needed. This one (Beacon of Hope) felt a lot closer.

"As footballers rightly or wrongly we're put on a pedestal, especially by children. What a responsibility that is, but what a privilege to make kids happy."

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Leeds United players Crysencio Summerville and Archie Gray won the Championship's player and young player of the season award. Summerville, Ethan Ampadu and Georginio Rutter were named in the team of the season, alongside Hull City's Jacob Greaves.

Bradford City full-back Brad Halliday made the League Two XI.

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