Darren Moore praises chest-out Sheffield Wednesday for standing against fierce Portsmouth crowd in baying atmosphere
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The Owls won 1-0 thanks to Josh Windass’ classy first half finish and though both sides moved the ball at high tempo in a bitter atmosphere, Darren Moore was able to hail his side’s mettle as they chalked up a remarkable 21st clean sheet of their record-breaking season.
Dominic Iorfa was harshly sent off for two yellow card offences on 78 minutes but a chest-out Wednesday squad held firm to go three points clear at the top of the table courtesy of Barnsley’s win over second-placed Plymouth Argyle.
“It was a really hard-fought one,” Moore said post-match. “What I was pleased with was that we got on the front foot and started very quick. Josh Windass scored a ruthless goal, a clinical finish and then we managed to settle ourselves down.
“You’re always fighting against the crowd here and it’s a very quick football pitch.
“The players acquitted themselves well. Mentally they were in the arena to get the job done. We knew it would be a tough game and so it proved.”
Previous Wednesday managers past have questioned the mentality and fighting spirit of squads in years gone by. Not so with this outfit, with Moore having pulled together a snarling squad that has cultivated a powerful will to win.
“It took character. That’s the word. We needed to show that character,” Moore continued, celebrating a win at the club for which he played 59 league games across two seasons.
“This is a former stomping ground of mine, so I kno the club and what the fans can generate. There were 18,000 fans here today and the atmosphere was there. They brought the atmosphere today and the boys were not only competitive in their challenges, they had to deal with the crowd as well.
“There’s a good experience in this group, there’s a good togetherness with them, a good bond with them. They’re going about their work well today and they got the three points today.
“I told them how proud I was in their performance in terms of the mentality and character they’ve shown.”