Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday: 'Doesn't reflect well on running of the clubs' - Former Sheffield United and Rams boss' take on old club's relegation showdown with Owls and Rotherham United
After a season of misery, it comes down to this – Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday for the chance to avoid dropping into the third tier of English football.
And Rotherham United could even relegate the both of them, if the Millers were to get a win against Cardiff City on Saturday.
For one former Derby manager, who also knows what it’s like to be the boss in Sheffield, the scenario is a terrible indictment on the clubs – that two footballing institutions should be battling it out in this way.
And he makes no bones about where the fault lies.
Ex-Blade Nigel Clough, now in charge of Mansfield Town, says those running the club have to be held accountable for the situation both the Owls and the Rams find themselves in.
“I am surprised to see Derby there with their resources. I don't think anyone expected them to be down there,” Clough told Chad, The Star’s sister publication in Mansfield.
“But it's the same with Sheffield Wednesday although they lost the six points and would have been safe without that.
“So you have to look at bigger things, more than the football.
“But they should still have been able to withstand that six points deduction and still be safe.
“They are two very, very big clubs. You look at the bottom half of the Championship and there are some huge clubs down there who have been in and around relegation and it doesn't reflect too well on the running of their clubs.”
While Clough is of the opinion that they shouldn’t be down there in the first place, he is backing Derby to come out on top in the three-way battle which would see the Rams stay up with a win.
Should Rotherham pick up all three points and Derby fail to, then it’s the Millers who will be in the Championship next terms, while Wednesday need a win and for Paul Warne’s men to slip up.
“I think Derby can do it,” said Clough. “They go into it probably only needing a draw - and I think you'd always back yourself at home to avoid defeat. But I think it will be tight."