GOALKEEPER Stephen Bywater has warned his Sheffield Wednesday team-mates to keep cool heads in Sunday’s derby clash at Sheffield United.
The second-placed Owls are set to be backed by 4,000-plus fans at Bramall Lane as Gary Megson’s men aim to clinch a fifth successive victory in League One.
It will be the first time the two sides have locked horns since April 2010 and Bywater admits he can’t wait to sample the Steel City atmosphere.
However, the 30-year-old, on loan from Derby County until December 17, is urging the players to concentrate on the match and not the occasion.
“It is very important we keep 11 people on the pitch,” he told The Star. “Sometimes you can win with 10 or nine men but we have to stay disciplined and focused and not get caught up in the emotion of the game.
“We have to do the jobs the manager asks us to do. As long as we do that, we will do okay.”
Brought in as cover for the injured Nicky Weaver, Bywater has conceded just one goal in three appearances.
He believes the club’s fans can play a major role in inspiring an Owls victory.
“I don’t know much about it (the derby) but I’m just looking forward to being part of it,” he said. “We have sold out our allocation. I tried to buy some tickets but I couldn’t because it had sold out!
“All I know is that Wednesday’s supporters are going to be truly magnificent on the day and can make a big difference.”