Danny Röhl hairdryer moment has put fresh tint on Sheffield Wednesday run-in - reaction will be everything

The demeanour of Danny Röhl post-match was one brutally honest, emotional and one that took those gathered in his post-Middlesbrough press engagement by surprise.

They were words that cut through the press room and will no doubt cut through the Sheffield Wednesday changing room, too.

So careful, so prepared in the way he goes about his business both behind the scenes and in front of the microphone, Röhl let rip from his first answer; Wednesday were 'nothing' on the day. One clip of players walking to recover their position summed things up, he said. Effort levels shown at the Riverside left them 'lucky' to have conceded only twice. The 'Premier League level' fans, he suggested, deserved better.

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The German coach has been careful to protect his players even after their most galling defeats. He took responsibility for his team and system selection in the 6-0 slapping at Ipswich Town, but has since pointed to a difference in metres run as an indicator of how the fell so far short - at Middlesbrough he revealed the figure to be a whopping nine Portman Road kilometres. The Riverside data will be processed in due course.

The public dressing-down - and the level of passion behind it - felt like a seismic moment in Wednesday's attempt to stay in the division. The very least supporters demand of players locked in a relegation scrap is to show lung-busting effort. To so brazenly accuse them of not doing so is something that will cause ripples. And he'll know that.

Not one player can come out of the Middlesbrough trip with credit, he said. They were walking when only sprinting would do. Players disappointed at recent playing time had not given evidence to support their claims. Any excuses can be cast aside.

It was as calm a Ferguson hair-dryer moment as you could imagine, a picture of professional fury, with the heat pressed in one direction.

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Röhl said: "When you lose, you always look at things you could do differently as a manager, but I think since we arrived here I have always tried to protect my players and have always tried to take responsibility for a defeat. This is not just about tactical things, you have to have energy for such a game and such a situation. Everybody should know our situation. It's not enough to look for excuses, we have to deliver. We didn't today."

Wednesday have rallied back from dire afternoons before this season, their trip to Huddersfield perhaps the best example of a lost cause rescued. Asked whether he felt they could do it again, the Wednesday boss suggested they could, but that it will be the reaction of his players in the coming days that would inspire it - or not.

Such a departure from his modus operandi in terms of discussing player performance will spark a reaction, you'd have thought. His players will be reading the headlines and tuning into the radio interviews and they'll be all too aware of what their manager has said. Such brutal honesty felt like a call to action and what happens now will be fascinating.

Wednesday are two points back and two-in-two QPR are next up. There are only six matches to go. We'll know plenty about where the tab end of this season is heading come 5pm Saturday.

What was apparent on Monday evening is that Danny Röhl believes the time for protective niceties has passed.