‘Celebrate clearances and tackles’ - In-form Sheffield Wednesday star knows all about relegation scraps

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Sheffield Wednesday are in a relegation battle this season, and it’s not Will Vaulks’ first rodeo…

The tough-tackling midfielder has been there before in his career, scrapping for points around the bottom of the table, and he’s seen first-hand what can happen to teams who are at the wrong end of the Championship.

It’s not going to be easy for the Owls after what can only be described as a horror start to the campaign, but following the arrival of Danny Röhl there has been a real upturn in performances and results, giving Wednesday a fighting chance of pulling off an escape.

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Speaking to The Star about the situation they find themselves in, Vaulks was asked what – aside from actual ability – was going to be key. He thinks it’s about more than just quality.

“I think ability, to be honest, is quite low down on the list,” he replied. “I think it’s about the team all pushing in the same direction, getting an XI out there that are desperate to scrap and fight for points. The manager is trying to show that, over a period of time, as your performances improve then you’ll pick up more points - but there are games under him where he’ll admit that he’d liked to have played better football at times.

“But you have to find a way to win. Look at Stoke, that’s an old-school Championship game and we came away from it with three points. What would you rather do? Have 75% possession and get beat, or win away at Stoke? You have to pick the time to play those games where you’ve just got to be backs against the wall. I thought we defended really well and nicked one.

“It’s about having the ability to do everything - scrap some games out and dominate some games. I think that comes from the XI on the pitch having the hunger and fight. Celebrate clearances, celebrate headers and tackles, and then when it calms down have the ability to hurt teams.”

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Wednesday face one of his former club’s, Cardiff City, in their next game as they play hose to the Bluebirds at Hillsborough on Saturday, and whether it’s a game to play or scrap he’ll be itching to get three more points as they bid to claw away at the gap between themselves and safety as 2023 comes to a close.

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