Why Barry Bannan sees early Nottingham Forest kick-off as huge advantage for Sheffield Wednesday over Rotherham United and Derby County
Sheffield Wednesday skipper has said he was more than happy to find out that his side will be kicking off earlier than both their relegation rivals in the penultimate bout of the fight for Championship survival.
The Owls’ clash with Nottingham Forest was moved to a 12:30pm kick-off for live TV coverage, while Derby County’s trip to Swansea and Rotherham against Blackburn will both take place from 3pm.
The news took many by surprise given that matches on the last day of the season must kick-off at the same time in order to avoid any psychological advantage and while in the event of a draw for Wednesday, Derby will know all they need is the same to eliminate them from the survival effort, an Owls win piles on added pressure.
Speaking ahead of the Forest test, Wednesday skipper Barry Bannan said: “I’m happy with it, to be honest. If we’re on our game I’ll be going home quickly to watch that game and I’ll know what’s happening.
“With the Middlesbrough game I didn’t know what was happening. That was worse and I’d rather watch it.
“I know Derby will be concentrating on themselves, but if we can get three points they’ll all be looking over their shoulder. They’ll definitely know the result before they kick-off so whether that makes a difference or not, we’ll see.”
If Wednesday can better Derby’s result this weekend, it could set up a last day shootout at Pride Park. That is if Rotherham, who have a game in hand on both rivals, don’t get themselves ahead with two wins in their next two matches.
“It can work both ways. If we get a positive result, it puts added pressure on them going into their game.
“But for us, it would be good if we can get the three points and go home to watch that. If we can get a result and we watch and get the right result afterwards it’ll give us a big boost going into next weekend.
“We’ve got the game at 12:30 and we can put ourselves in the position where we can put pressure on the teams down there with us.
“Then it’s over to Derby and Rotherham to get their results.”