Jose Semedo believes the visit of strugglers Blackpool to Hillsborough today is Sheffield Wednesday’s biggest game of the season.
The Owls are still smarting from Saturday’s 4-0 hammering at Fulham – their heaviest league defeat of the season – ahead of today’s Championship match against Lee Clark’s bottom-of-the-table Tangerines. While some pundits have already written off Blackpool as relegation fodder, Semedo insists the Owls, who have won just twice at Hillsborough in the league this season, will not be complacent.
The Wednesday players were given a day off from training yesterday to spend Christmas Day at home with their families.
Now Semedo is hoping to repay that gesture with three points and a much-needed Hillsborough tonic.
“Blackpool is the most important game of the season so far,” said the Owls midfielder. “First, everybody thinks we will win the game because they are in a bad run, and for us it’s the important because it’s our next game and we lost the last one.
“It will be difficult, we know it will not be easy. On my mind is only one thing, to do everything we can to win the game.
Last year, the Owls headed into Boxing Day with 17 points and were in the bottom three.
Twelve months on, Stuart Gray has guided Wednesday to mid-table, with 28 points, and with games against the Championship’s bottom two next, Blackpool today and Wigan next Tuesday, Semedo is optimistic they can climb the table.
“It’s a big improvement from last season, but we could have done better with some of our results,” he said.
“In particular, games we have been winning at home. I remember Millwall where they scored a last-minute equaliser. If you look back at previous seasons, it shows we can still do better and, hopefully, that will start in the next game.
“What we want are good results (over Christmas) and to kick on in the new year. If we do, then maybe some beautiful things can happen to this club.”
Last six: Sheffield Wednesday DDWWLL Blackpool LDDWDL.
Referee: J Adcock (Notts).
Last time: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Blackpool 0, January 1 2014, Championship.