Darren Moore admits regrets but there’s no time to dwell as Sheffield Wednesday buckle up for play-offs

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Regrets, he has a few. But with the situation laid ahead of Sheffield Wednesday, they’re too few to mention.

Darren Moore allowed himself to be Frank for a moment of his post-match press conference as the Owls left New Meadow with a taste of the bittersweet; a confident win – their most ‘chest-out’ for some weeks – but with results elsewhere ending their automatic promotion dream beyond all doubt.

Boxes were ticked. Another three points; one more will seal another record and the highest points tally in the club’s history. Smith a hat-trick hero. Ihiekwe imperious. Windass back on a football pitch. A degree of swagger on display.

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But perhaps the most enthusiastic moment came after the final whistle as the Owls players approached the away support. They were met not with a vision of anger or disappointment at not having seen the job through, but of rabid togetherness, of songs Wembley and Wednesday.

Owls boss Darren Moore   Pic Steve EllisOwls boss Darren Moore   Pic Steve Ellis
Owls boss Darren Moore Pic Steve Ellis

Asked on whether he harboured a feeling of regret at Wednesday’s position heading into the last game of the season, Moore said: “There's always regrets that you can't go one better.

“But this is football, sometimes when you feel you should get the rub of the green, you haven't. But what we have got is another wonderful opportunity and that's what we have got to be looking at.

“The points tally this season, we know over the course of any other season where we would be. But we are in 2022-23 and we have plenty to look forward to. Don't look back as it costs unspent energy. 93 points, credit to the players and we have a full house next week.”

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Ihiekwe and Dominic Iorfa offered strong performances on an afternoon in which there were many; an injury-shot and dead rubber Shrewsbury side were barely able to lay a glove on their now three-from-three visitors.

“I thought the first goal was exceptional from our point of view,” Moore said. “It was a really good team goal and it was a really cultured finish from Smudger.

“That was the pick of the bunch and I was really pleased for Smudger as he works really tirelessly for the team and strikers judge themselves on their goals and for him to get the three goals today was really, really good. It was a special moment for him and he will get all the headlines.

“But I thought all of the team here came and put on a resounding performance and controlled the game.

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“Away from home, we have been stronger and showed more strength on the road and you have to in this league and we were solid.

“I don't normally single out people, but I thought Ihikewe was excellent. He was always going to get 70 minutes and he has built up his minutes really nicely. He got the minutes we wanted.

“All around, the team played with assurance and confidence.”

If Darren Moore and Sheffield Wednesday are to do what they had to do and see it through, then the final curtain now lies in wait at Wembley on May 29, with a two-legger to navigate against either Bolton Wanderers, Derby County or Peterborough United.

Buckle up.


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