Adam Reach on why Sheffield Wednesday will resort to ‘scrappy’ performances if needed
Midfielder Adam Reach says a good performance against Nottingham Forest is important, but not a priority, for Sheffield Wednesday if it comes at the cost of sacrificing points.
The Owls learned that lesson the hard way on Saturday after matching Dean Smith’s Aston Villa over 90 minutes only to lose the Hillsborough clash 3-1 due to two added time goals for the visitors.
And after being punished in such a cruel fashion in a crucial game for the play-off chasing clubs, Reach says Wednesday will need to win at any cost in Tuesday’s match to keep their slim chance of a top six finish alive.
He told The Star: “It’ll be similar to Saturday. Forest are a team who think they can still make it, as do we, I can’t imagine both teams won’t want to come and win the game.
“It might be a good game for the neutral but we’ve got to make sure we don’t get carried away.
“If we can play like we did at times against Villa then we’ll be okay because we’ve got quality players.
“You can’t owe people just because you lose a game of football. We’ve got a new manager, they’ve got a new manager.
“Anything like that is out of the window, it’s about winning the game.
“Ideally we put in a performance, but we’ll take a scrappy 1-0. We just need to win every game now.”
One positive from the Aston Villa result was a home appearance and first goal since 2017 for Gary Hooper, which Reach says is a big lift for the final six games of the campaign.
“He needed a chance like that, that’s Gary Hooper all over. He got 80-odd minutes and he’s improving all the time. When we can get him fully fit and putting in 90 minutes then we’ll be a very dangerous side.
“He’s been chomping at the bit to get going. Fifteen months is a hell of a long time, especially for a striker, you miss scoring goals.
“It showed today he didn’t take long to get back into it.
“Players are desperate to get back because it’s such a good atmosphere at the minute. There’s still a chance we could do something special at the end of the season.”
And nine-goal Reach says it’ll be one last push – mentally and physically – to get over the line after a gruelling campaign that has left him wearing knee strapping in recent matches.
“That was heavy strapping last week, I didn’t have it quite as heavy this time,” he said.
“Listen, it’s been a long season, we’ve played a lot of games, it takes its toll.
“The manager has asked us to play through certain issues and give us one last push. Barry unfortunately had to come off. He’s a player who’s playing with a lot of pain and a lot of niggles, But if we get to the play-offs it’ll all be worth it. Just one last push.”