When Sheffield Wednesday fans wanted an angry Darren Moore, they got a befuddled one

ANGER is probably what Sheffield Wednesday fans wanted from Darren Moore at full-time. What they got was befuddlement.

There was anger to spare in the away end after a League One play-off capitulation at Peterborough United, even after most had left early for their cars or the pub.

Nothing Moore said on Friday night could have pacified those who schlepped south on a Friday night (thanks, Sky) to see their team's mental breakdown after Cameron Dawson let in a soft opener, then Marvin Johnson turned his back on a shot to deflect it in off the crossbar.

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Where the press sit at London Road, surrounded by celebrating home fans, it was impossible to hear what they shouted as the players came over to applaud them at full-time, but their gestures said it all .

After a second consecutive play-off exit, Wednesday will be in League One next season and Hillsborough will be toxic if they concede first in Thursday's return. Given how shell-shocked they must be, do not bet against it.

Two-nil down less than a quarter of the way through a two-legged tie was recoverable. Four-nil, which is how it finished, was not.

"I was really angry on the sidelines because of the manner of the goals," said Moore, and if he had not, you would never have guessed.

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"We've not worked hard all week for that. In games you need the performance and it went away from is in the second (half)."

CONFUSED: Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore was struggling to find answers at full-time in PeterboroughCONFUSED: Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore was struggling to find answers at full-time in Peterborough
CONFUSED: Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore was struggling to find answers at full-time in Peterborough

Moore does not really do public anger. His equilibrium served the Owls well in a 23-game unbeaten run but when his team have wobbled in crunch moments it has not been enough to drag them back.

They threw away automatic promotion with a six-match winless run, then reminded us of their talent with five wins out of six when they had nothing to lose, only to flunk it again as soon as they did.

The players are the prime culprits but as a manager, Moore doubles as the team’s lead psychologist. He could not explain what went wrong. He was not the only one.

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Sat on the front row of the press box, Peterborough fans turned to us after the second-half goals and the final whistle asking what they had just seen. The questions will have been the same in the away end, just in a far angrier tone.

"As a manager you're angry, you're disappointed, but you have to compose yourself because sometimes your words can come out all wrong," said Moore in the latest of a round of post-match interviews in a now-near empty stadium. "When the emotions are all over the place those words don't penetrate.

"I need time to reflect on the game and the performance and, obviously, the result wasn't good enough. It was unacceptable.

"Sometimes things are inexplicable but when I watch the game back I'll start seeing things.

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"We need to be constructive with our mindset and our attitude to get a better performance.

"It wasn't that we didn't land a punch because we had the opportunity to score, it's just taking the opportunity.

"The mindset in terms of dealing with the occasion is the only thing that springs to mind."

We await to see what comes of Moore's thinking time but it will surely be too late to salvage this tie and most probably to keep a good man in a job. All he can really do is send his team out to play for pride and hope it is enough.

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"The performance is what we have to aim for as a group, it's just the performance," said Moore.

"We need to put this to bed really quickly because we have to show a better account of ourselves in the second leg."