01 May 2021

Jamie Smith says Sheffield Wednesday were not resigned to relegation before draw

01 May 2021

Jamie Smith denied Sheffield Wednesday’s players went into their 0-0 home draw against Nottingham Forest resigned to their fate.

Only Keiren Westwood’s penalty save from Lewis Grabban prevented League One football from being confirmed during a limp home performance at Hillsborough.

The Owls’ Sky Bet Championship survival hopes were left resting on Derby failing to get a point at Swansea later in the afternoon.

However, assistant manager Smith, deputising in the dugout as Darren Moore continues to recover from pneumonia, said: “Being in and around the dressing room, I can say there was no resignation in there.

“Afterwards, the mood was more disappointment because we had built up the importance of getting three points all week.

“There were some nerves, I suppose, and the occasion maybe got to us a little bit – particularly in the first half when we were a bit frantic on the ball and our decision making wasn’t good enough at times.

“It was also very frustrating to see some of the defensive mistakes but, fortunately, they did not lead to us conceding and Keiren made a great save to keep us in it.

“We still had chances but it did not happen for us even though we had picked a team that we thought would win the game and put Callum Paterson out on the right, to give us extra height and an attacking threat.”

Smith added that Moore could travel to Wednesday’s final Championship contest at Derby next weekend.

“He was in communication with us at half-time and said to keep the players calm and switched on,” he continued. “He’s a bit better in himself and might be in the stand next week.”

Forest boss Chris Hughton felt his team should have claimed a first victory from their last six trips to Hillsborough but added that it took an impressive Brice Samba save from Josh Windass to prevent them from suffering defeat.

Hughton said: “Over 90 minutes, I felt we were the team more likely to score.

“You could see they were a team fighting for their lives, but we are disappointed that it got to the stage that we needed a superb save from Brice to get a draw because we shouldn’t have had to rely on that and I think we should have got more than a point with the chances we had.

“I couldn’t fault the players’ attitude and endeavour but, if you don’t take your chances, it always gives the opposition that little bit of hope.

“Their keeper also made a good save from the penalty and I think that changed the game because, if they’d have gone in at half-time 1-0 down, they would have had to change their game and it would have opened up a lot more in the second half.”

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