‘There’s no pressure when you’re chasing’ – why Sheffield Wednesday are embracing relaxed approach to the end of the season
If there’s any pressure on the Championship’s top ten clubs as the season reaches its climax, it has not infiltrated the relaxed atmosphere at Sheffield Wednesday.
That’s according to Owls striker Steven Fletcher who insists that the pressure is off as Steve Bruce's side enter their final eight matches.
After a short breather over the international break, the first test for Wednesday this weekend is Nathan Jones’ Stoke City who currently sit 16th in the league table.
And it’s one the Scottish forward says Wednesday will be ready for, even though he is a doubt for the match after sustaining a groin injury against Blackburn Rovers ten days ago.
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Speaking to the Star, Fletcher said: “I think the gaffer just wants us to take a seat and have a breather. It's been non-stop since he came in, for everyone really - especially the boys who have been coming back from injury as well.
“They get a good week of training in them as well because it's hard when you have got a lot of games, you don’t train together a lot. It will be good for them and good for us.
“We have got a lot of tough games coming up but we will just keep our heads down, keep working hard and see were we finish up. If we are up there, happy days, I don’t think anyone expected us to be anywhere near where we are, especially at Christmas.”
Wednesday's turnaround since the start of 2019 – which has only seen them lose to Hull in the league and Chelsea in the FA Cup – earned them the reward of a long weekend off during the break to recover and prepare for the closing stage of the campaign.
Of the remaining eight matches five are against teams currently above the Owls in the table, although there is just a two point margin between the top six and Steve Bruce’s side.
And Wednesday’s late play-off surge has given them the advantage of an underdog mindset according to nine-goal Fletcher.
“There is no pressure when you are chasing, he said. “Being up there and trying to stay up there is a different story. When you are chasing the pack there is less pressure on you and you can just get on with it.
“The crowd, they have come out and supported us, and hopefully they can keep that going for the rest of the season.”