OWLS No 1 Stephen Bywater insists he is not bothered about the ongoing fight between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United for the second automatic promotion berth.
While Charlton Athletic remain hot favourites to go up as champions in League One heading into the final month of the season, the runners-up spot is still up for grabs with just two points separating the two Sheffield clubs with six matches left.
Fourth-paced Huddersfield Town, who entertain the Owls on Saturday, travel to Leyton Orient tonight in their game in hand bidding to keep their top-two hopes alive.
However, United and Wednesday have the points on the board and there is a genuine possibility the enthralling battle between the pair could go right down to the wire.
The Blades are two points ahead of Wednesday, who have to face four of the top 10 sides in the division in their remaining fixtures.
But goalkeeper Bywater has played down the city rivalry and told The Star: “If I’m being honest, I couldn’t care less who is in second spot at the moment. It could be Bournemouth for all I care.
“I just want Sheffield Wednesday to go up. I want us to finish either first or second.
“You have to focus on yourselves. If you don’t, you can become distracted. All that matters is we keep on winning. What will be will be.”
Bywater, signed on a free transfer from Derby County in January following a successful loan stint at Hillsborough, added: “I had a delivery guy come to my house the other day and he was a Sheffield United fan and he was saying ‘I hope your lot don’t go up’.
“I know it is a big deal in the city but I don’t care about who my rival is. All I want is for Wednesday to get promoted.
“Ideally next year, we [Wednesday and United] will both be in the Championship because it is a great derby game.”
Wednesday have chalked up three clean sheets in Dave Jones’s six matches in charge, picking up 16 points out of a possible 18.
Bywater, aged 30, said: “There is a real togetherness about the squad. Everybody wants the team to do well whether they are in the team or not and you need that at times like these.
“The lads have taken to how Dave [Jones] wants us to play and we are all enjoying it. Dave is just trying to add to what we were doing before. Defensively we have done well all season and he has just told the lads he wants us to play more. He has just added his experience into the pot.
“It is always hard for someone to come in and change things around quickly but Dave has been very clever in putting his point across in training and in how he wants us to play.”