Rants, sackings and panic: Pressure builds as Sheffield Wednesday and rivals fight for their lives

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It’s squeaky-bum time in the Championship, and as Sheffield Wednesday fight for their lives the pressure is certainly starting to show.

In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen managerial changes and post-match rants, there have been some surprise results and as things stand there are probably 10 different clubs who could still end up in the bottom three if things don’t go right for them in the final six games.

The boss one of Wednesday’s relegation rivals slammed the atmosphere, referee and his side earlier in the week, while another fired their manager just three months after his arrival at the club – even Danny Röhl, usually so composed, laid into his team after their defeat to Middlesbrough on Monday night.

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With the final run-in now upon us, here are some signs of pressure at the five clubs ahead of bottom-of-the-table Rotherham United – who will be relegated tonight unless they beat Plymouth Argyle.

Millwall – 19th – “We threw it away”

Neil Harris was far from pleased with his Lions side as they were beaten 2-1 by Rotherham on Monday, a result that left them just four points clear of the drop zone.

“The first half was very scrappy,” he said after. “The atmosphere here was terrible and the referee was horrific… We did enough to win two or three games of football there. Second half we've made a dozen opportunities to score and rather than Rotherham win the game, we lost that game…

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“We threw it away. We were the better team and created the most chances. We certainly controlled the second half. The first half was very scrappy. I thought we created numerous chances and they scored two goals against the run of play… Ultimately, Rotherham did not win the game, we lost it.”

Birmingham City – 20th – Back to winning ways…

It’s been a turbulent season for the Blues, who brought Gary Rowett back last month in an effort to try and save their season.

The season started with John Eustace in charge, then he was fired in favour of Wayne Rooney taking over. Things didn’t work out under the England and Manchester United legend and Tony Mowbray was appointed as his successor.

Mowbray sadly was taken ill and had to step back, with Mark Venus taking over in his absence, but results dropped off badly and that’s when they put the call in to Rowett to try and stop having not won in a month.

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He got his first win in his second game this week, beating Preston North End to go two points ahead of Huddersfield in 22nd.

Plymouth Argyle – 21st – Panic stations

For a while it had looked like the Pilgrims might stave off a relegation scrap with a relatively comfortable mid-table finish, but things went south not long after Steven Schumacher’s departure for Stoke City – despite a solid start for his replacement, Ian Foster.

One defeat in his first five Championship games was deemed satisfactory, but one win in the nine that followed – including seven defeats – saw them plummet down the table and the home loss to Bristol City this week was the final nail in the coffin and he was fired just three months into the gig. Neil Dewsnip will oversee the last six fixtures.

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Huddersfield Town – 22nd – Sucked back in

It’s been over a month since the Terriers last won a game of football, and they’ve lost three of the last six after a little uptick in fortunes in February had given them a boost.

They led in two of their last four games but couldn’t hang on and dropped five points, and having been quite clear of the Owls not long back they’re now just one point ahead of them – having won three fewer games.

They’ve got a fair few injury concerns, and have a huge game against Millwall this weekend – they’ll be desperate to try and turn things around and make sure Wednesday have no chance of leapfrogging them.

Sheffield Wednesday – 23rd – “There was nothing”

For weeks now the Owls have been on the verge of climbing out of the bottom three following a superb run that saw them win five of six games in February and early March. Three defeats have followed, but it was only after the Boro game that the Wednesday boss seemed to snap.

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He was unhappy with the application of his players at the Riverside, and said as much in his post-match interview.

"It is easy to say, there was nothing. We were nothing," Röhl told The Star. "The supporters are high level, Premier League level but from us there was nothing.

"I showed them a clip after the game, immediately. In this clip it has everything in it - we lost the ball and we were walking. We were playing forward and not pushing out. The opponent played right and we did not move right. The opponent played over us and we did not close. We can talk about the shape, the players, everything. It was not good enough.

"It was a big, big disappointment because on Friday we invested a lot and it wasn't enough because we missed chances. That is the reason we are in this situation, but if you are not doing the basics right and not showing the attitude for such a game it will be hard in the next six games to take something in this league.

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"If you lose the ball and four or five guys are walking instead of doing your job; to sprint, to attack, to close the lines, to be the rest defence. It's hard to get the ball back. You have to run and run and run. It hurts, but that's it."