Sheffield Wednesday: ‘We know how important the Sheffield derby is to the fans’

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Under-fire Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay insists his players are acutely aware of the importance of tomorrow’s Sheffield derby as he looks to silence his critics.

Luhukay arrived in England with plenty of derby experience from his time in charge of Borussia Monchengladbach and Hertha Berlin in Germany.

His first match at the helm for the Owls was a goalless draw against Sheffield United back in January.

But the pressure is mounting on Luhukay following a four-match losing run which has seen Wednesday slip to 17th in the table, just four points off the relegation zone.

When asked about his own future, Luhukay said: "I don't think personally about that.

"Football is my life and you play with your heart and you feel that.

"I was in Germany a long time and I have played in bigger derbies than the game (against United) with more fans.

"I played Borussia Monchengladbach against Koln and there were 50,000 in the stadium.

"I have been involved in a lot of matches like this and I know when you win these games and what you get from the fans.

"I remember the derby game in January and the players were given a standing ovation after the game. They played the last 30 minutes with 10 men and gave everything.

"We must not take a step back (today). We must go one step forward. We must only look to ourselves and must try to come to the best performance that we can."

Fernando Forestieri and Marco Matias may be included in the matchday squad, having recovered from hamstring injuries. The pair have come through full training unscathed over the last week.

"We know how important the game is," said Luhukay. "Derbies have a lot of emotion and passion.

"I managed a blue team in Hertha Berlin and we played against a red team (Union Berlin)  in the same city and we had a home game in front of 76,000 people in a derby game and you know what sort of pressure that is. We picked up four points in that season.

"It (a derby) is for the fans a very good feeling and the respect and also the players of course.

"I have told the players that you play for the fans, you play for yourself and the team but you also need to give respect to yourself and the fans and that is what we will try to do."