‘We do not want to let Steve Bruce down’ – Sheffield Wednesday loan star Michael Hector targets victory over boss’s former club Aston Villa
Towering defender Michael Hector says the Owls' players are determined to put in a strong performance for boss Steve Bruce when they tackle his former club Aston Villa today.
Bruce faces Villa for the first time since he was harshly axed by the Midlands outfit at the beginning of October. The ex-Manchester United defender was sacked with Villa lying 12th in the Championship, just over four months after leading the club to the play-off final and the brink of promotion.
One disgruntled Villa fan even threw a cabbage at Bruce before his final match in charge against Preston North End.
"We want to win every game no matter who we play against," insisted Hector. "Being his former club and how it ended for him, we want to put in a very good performance for him. We don't want to let him down, that's the important thing.
"On his behalf, it has got to have something a little bit extra. But it is a football game and sometimes, if you get too emotional, you do not perform and you have to keep a professional head.
"Obviously we want to put in a performance, but for the gaffer, it makes for a little bit extra."
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Wednesday are 11th in the table while Villa currently occupy the final play-off spot heading into the final seven fixtures. There are four points between the two sides, with Bruce claiming the Owls may have to win all of their remaining matches to get into the top-six.
Hector, on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season, said: "You want to play in these type of games where it means something.
"You do not want to play in a game where both teams are looking at where they are going on their holidays in a few weeks.
"For me, it has been a more exciting end to the season. In Germany, I had the cup and stuff like that, but especially in England, I have always been in a team finishing 16th or 17th and it kind of drifts away and you are looking for next season.
"Here, we have got a big chance of fighting for something and it is a good kind of pressure. This is why you play football for, for the pressure and trying to do something special.
"Most teams who sneak into the play-offs tend to do well as there is a buzz around the place and the mental side will be good if we do sneak in as we will be on a high."