Sheffield Wednesday: Former Owls and Rotherham United ace looks at contrasting regimes ahead of South Yorkshire derby

One is a side comprising 11 players and the other is a team in the truest sense of the word.

Thursday, 6th December 2018, 11:16 am
Updated Thursday, 6th December 2018, 11:20 am
Rotherham Utd v Sheffield Wednesday.....Owls Chris sedgwick tracks Millers Jeff Smith

There may be just three points separating Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United but according to a former player of both clubs there is a world of difference in how each team is operating right now.

Chris Sedgwick, who spent half of his playing career representing both sides, says the togetherness of the Millers is evident to everybody - as is the malaise that is setting in at Hillsborough.

Rotherham Utd v Sheffield Wednesday.....Owls Chris sedgwick tracks Millers Jeff Smith

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The two sides clash for the 43rd time tomorrow with the Owls in a wretched run of form - the latest low ebb coming in last week's 4-2 collapse at Blackburn.

Sedgwick spent five years playing alongside current Rotherham boss Paul Warne during his spell with United.

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He believes that the energy and togetherness garnered by his former colleague could prove particularly problematic for Jos Luhukay's side on Saturday.

Rotherham v Sheffield Wednesday. Rotherham player Chris Sedgwick battles for the ball with Wednesday player Derek Geary . 1st January 2003

"Warney likes togetherness and  there's no superstars with him," Sedgwick told the Star.

"You can see that Rotherham are all in it together.

"They always have a go and play a high tempo and it's good to watch.

"Bar a few mistakes, they would be a lot better off and would have turned some of those draws into wins.

"Warney's got them well-organised and they have a good work ethic."

In stark contrast, Sedgwick believes Wednesday are in a rut right now and that the players have to take their fair share of responsibility for the sequence of six defeats in the last eight.

"From the outside looking in, it's not a happy camp at the minute," Sedgwick, who now runs his own insurance firm in Sheffield, said. 

"There's lots of disgruntled fans and there isn't a nice feeling around the place at the minute.

"Performances haven't been what you would expect with that squad.

"As players, you're the ones responsible really but it's always the manager who gets it.

"At the minute, for the amount of quality that they've got there just seems to be something missing and I don't know what that is.

"They have some great players such as Barry Bannan, Fernando Forestieri and Steven Fletcher.

"You put that team on paper against the Rotherham team and there should only be one winner.

"But unfortunately football isn't played on paper."

This weekend's encounter offers both sides a chance of a surge in fortunes.

For the visitors, it gives them an opportunity to end a 35-game winless streak away from home in this division - a sequence stretching back to April 2016.

For Wednesday, it is an obvious opportunity to get back to some sort of respectable form ahead of the impending busy festive period.

Sedgwick, 38, has good memories of this fixture: "I played for Rotherham in this game and we got two last-minute winners - through Darren Garner and Richie Barker.

"They were always good games to play in and full-throttle."  

So, how does the former winger see the contest panning out?

"From seeing both sides a lot this season, I know Rotherham will give it a real good go,' he added.

"Hillsborough can be a tough place to play, for the home team as well especially if things aren't going well.

"Rotherham have to try and capitalise on the situation and try and make it really difficult for Wednesday.

"But on the flip-side, Wednesday will be looking at this game as a great chance to get back up and running and start climbing back up that league."