Proud dad hopes derby day will deliver again

Sheffield Wednesday's James O'Connor
Sheffield Wednesday's James O'Connor
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JAMES O’Connor already has one happy derby story to tell to his son when he gets older - and he hopes that tomorrow’s match will provide another.

Little Oliver James O’Connor, aged two and a half, was born in the early hours after the Owls had won 2-1 at Bramall Lane in 2009 and his dad dashed away to a hospital in Warrington to be present at the birth.

O’Connor senior says with a smile: “The panic of trying to get away from Bramall Lane through the traffic still lives with me!”

It was not his only Sheffield derby appearance but for obvious reasons that weekend was special for him.

In tomorrow’s latest episode, panic or over-excitement are sentiments that he wants to avoid:

“It’s a case of staying focused and not letting the emotional side of the game get to you.

“We’re fully aware of what it means to the supporters. But it’s important we do what we have done in the last few games, which is to keep our consistency.

“You have to prepare well, and we’re really pleased with the way the training has gone so far.”

O’Connor, whose family these days are settled on the outskirts of Sheffield, has been detailed to help curb the threat of opposition wide men in the last two games, the wins against Hartlepool and Chesterfield.

Perhaps with Stephen Quinn in mind, Gary Megson is sure to consider a start for the combative little Irishman tomorrow, along with considering the options offered by Jermaine Johnson and David Prutton.

When he plays on the flank, O’Connor is playing out of position, but he says: “When you’re given a job, you do it. Since I’ve been here, my focus have been on making sure the team wins. That’s the attitude of every one of our players.

“The manager develops a game plan and wants to make sure the players carry it out. If it helps to win and get promotion, you do it.

“That’s what we all want - to win and see Sheffield Wednesday promoted.

“There are three points at stake on Sunday and hopefully we’ll get them, but the biggest thing is promotion.”