Sheffield Wednesday: Steve Bruce refusing to give up hope on play-off chase after Nottingham Forest win
Steve Bruce’s message is simple when it comes to the play-off aspirations of Sheffield Wednesday – you never know.
Wednesday bounced back from the first defeat of Bruce’s tenure against Aston Villa to thump Nottingham Forest 3-0 at Hillsborough on Tuesday night.
The win reduced the gap between the Owls and sixth place in the Championship back down to four points – though current occupants Villa can move clear when they visit Rotherham United on Wednesday night.
With five games of the season remaining, Bruce is refusing to give up hope as he prepares to take his side to second placed Leeds United at the weekend.
“We didn’t deserve what happened to us on Saturday,” Bruce said.
“All of the squad have done fantastically well.
“When they’ve gone on the run like they have been on, it’s unfortunate the games are running out for us.
“But we’ve still got a bit to play for so who knows.
“You just never know.
“It’s a big game at the weekend, what a game that is going to be, so let’s enjoy it.
“We can’t give up, we’ll never give up until it is mathematically not possible.
“It’s probably going to need five wins but with the way it is going, who knows.
“There’s going to be some twists and turns in it.
“It is unbelievable that, starting in 12th place before the game, we’re still in with a shout.
“You saw, after taking a kick in the ribs on Saturday, and with one or two injuries, they’ve bounced back, the squad has helped them and got a terrific result for us.”
Barry Bannan missed the game with a hamstring injury, Sam Hutchinson was ruled out through sickness and Dominic Iorfa also missed out with injury.
Bruce also opted to not risk starting with Gary Hooper for a second consecutive game after more than 16 months out injured.
“We had players playing out of position,” Bruce said.
“The attitude among them and the spirit among them was definitely there.
“It wasn’t pretty at times but they have got the job done.”