They may be privileged but hard-working footballers deserve a break - Jon Newsome's Sheffield Wednesday Column

So another international weekend has passed and as I have previously written about they do give the manager something of a dilemma as to what to do with the players' extra time.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 16th November 2017, 7:24 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:11 pm
Sheffield Wednesday players will be back in action again this weekend after the last international break until March
Sheffield Wednesday players will be back in action again this weekend after the last international break until March

Do you use the fact that there is no specific game to work towards to get out on the training ground and work on stuff that you feel needs addressing or do you give the lads a bit of time away to have a bit of a break?

Personally I think you can do a bit of both and am a firm believer that having a really good atmosphere and togetherness in the dressing room is just as important as everyone knowing and doing their respective jobs come game time.

The life of a professional footballer is a fabulously privileged one but it is also the culmination of a hell of a lot of hard work from a very young age. Most, if not all, of the players will have been dreaming of playing football for a living since being knee high. In doing so they will have trained and or played nearly every day from back in the day and to eventually ‘make it’ as a pro is to live out that very dream.

If you ask most retired players I am sure a very large number of them will agree that they didn’t really appreciate how good it was until it was all over and your playing days are finished. On reflection it is a wonderful opportunity, lifestyle and existence, but it also comes with its negatives. There are times when you effectively grow very despondent with it all. That is why having a ‘mini-break’ for just a couple of days when you can get away from the club, the whole environment and refresh your mind and mental attitude can sometimes be so effective in my opinion.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way shape or form looking for sympathy here for footballers. They are now rewarded financially in an incredible way and there are many arguments as to the importance of other professions in relation to merely kicking a ball about, I cannot disagree with these points of view and am not saying otherwise. I am merely saying that even though it is a brilliant career it can sometimes get arduous and repetitive and getting away from it all can be beneficial.

With the visit of Bristol City this coming Saturday looming, pretty much everything this week will be geared towards the game. They have had an excellent start to this season's campaign and yet I would look on the game as being one that we should be expecting to take three points from. Last season I thought we were pretty fortunate to win the game with a 96th minute Kieran Lee special. I remember Bristol City had a young 18-year-old striker on loan from Chelsea by the name of Tammy Abraham whom I was mightily impressed with. Having made his international full debut in the last week or so it is amazing the speed of his development and I thought that having lost him to Swansea for this season City might struggle but, currently sat in fourth spot they have that ‘in’ word again, momentum.

Coming off the back of our excellent win at Villa I would hope that the confidence is returning and we can go into the game on the front foot. By this I mean take the game to the visitors early on, play with pace and a high tempo and don’t disappoint them in thinking that they are going to have a hell of a game on their hands.

When we do this we can be a real handful and the all-important part for me is that we need to score the first goal. When we do this we generally see out the game and if we can keep an elusive clean sheet we too can build on the momentum that we currently have. Saturday is a really really big game for us. Ideally if we can get three points, keep a clean sheet it may well be the pivotal turning point for our season.