Major role of Sheffield Wednesday's behind-the-scenes secret weapon revealed

One of the lesser-known members of Sheffield Wednesday’s backroom staff will provide important expertise in their final three matches of their survival battle.
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Former Manchester United man Sascha Lense is not a figure pushed to the frontline of the technical area as in the cases of Chris Powell, Henrik Pedersen or even Neil Thompson. But the 48-year-old German is every bit as integral to the Wednesday machine, using his expertise as a sports psychologist to help inform Danny Röhl’s approach to team meetings and the day-to-day at Middlewood Road while performing individual duties with the players themselves.

A former social worker, Lense is a C-License holding coach who ended a playing career in the German second tier before heading into the world of work. Time at Dynamo Dresden came either side of a stint in the set-up of RB Leipzig, where he in many ways became the right-hand man of Ralf Rangnick, who later took him to Old Trafford to work alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Now, he’s six months on board at Hillsborough and is busy performing his role in inspiring Wednesday towards a points haul in their last three matches that will ensure second tier status next season.

“Sascha is always a key part of things,” Röhl told The Star. “He helps me to prepare the game. I write the match plan on the tactical side and he helps me to write a match plan from the psychologist side. It is so important which message we give the players. He speaks with the players, these are things you cannot always see, but it is important he is always there around the team.

“I am very happy with my coaches, the different profiles. With Henrik there is always the technical challenge, we speak to one another. Chris and Neil will take responsibility for the set-pieces, Sascha, Sal. It is a whole picture and a team performance off the pitch.”