Ron Springett In The Net - Sheffield Wednesday

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P_O_T_R

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#1 30/03/2021 at 19:19



Kadeem Harris lifts lid on Darren Moore, his Sheffield Wednesday future and the fight to stay up

The wide man remains confident the club can still win their Championship survival fight, with the Owls second-from-bottom, six points adrift of safety with nine matches left to play


• BY DOM HOWSON

As Sheffield Wednesday only know too well, life is tough down at the bottom.

The 2020/21 season has been a real slog from the word go for the Owls. A 12-point deduction, halved on appeal, for breaching English Football League spending rules gave Wednesday a mountain to climb before a ball was even kicked. They have been playing catch up ever since, climbing (briefly) out of the relegation zone on two occasions.

With nine matches remaining, the second-from-bottom Owls enter a critical run-in six points shy of safety.

Kadeem Harris has opened up on the challenges of being involved in a relegation dogfight.

"It is definitely difficult," he said. "You go home after games feeling down and upset about the result.



"When you are a footballer, it is something that you have got to deal with. You have got to deal with the highs and the lows.

"We are all seasoned pros here and we know what we have got to do to get out of a position like this and how to deal with it.

"Hopefully we do and get as many points as possible in the final nine matches."

It has been a challenging year on and off the pitch.

Kicking off the campaign with a points deficit was psychologically difficult, according to Harris.

"You go into the season and games feeling extremely positive and you win a game and it is minus nine; it is not plus three," said Harris. "That does make a difference.

"But we have not done well enough with the results.

"I have always said that we have got really, really good players. Maybe we have under-achieved to this point that we are at right now but there are still nine games to go and I think we can get out of it. If we do, we have done extremely well."

Harris quickly stops to correct himself.

"When we do (survive), we will have done extremely well," he said.

Fighting talk indeed from the wide man.

He remains bullish about their chances of staying up.

"I am confident," he said. "I have been confident all season and so have the boys but it is about taking that confidence and making something out of it now and getting the points that we need.

KADEEM HARRIS ON MAKING SACRIFICES FOR THE TEAM

"This is a funny league where anyone can beat anyone. There are nine games left and a lot of points to play for.

"It is a great time for the boys to step up. We have to try and get as many points on the board as we can and I am confident we can get out of the position we are in."

A lack of stability has not helped Wednesday's cause. Darren Moore is the fourth different person (fifth if you include Andy Holdsworth) to be in the managerial dug-out this term.

Yet Harris refuses to use that as an excuse for the Owls' plight.

He said: "We have to take responsibility. It is us that go onto the pitch and we are ultimately in control of what happens on the pitch. We have to take full responsibility and the players do.

"It is something that we are working on daily and trying to change.

"It is not too late. Nowhere near too late.

"If we get out of the position we are in, everyone forgets about what has happened up to that point and it is looked at as a successful season. When we do stay up, the team goes into next season with a great chance but we have got to focus on the now and that is staying up."

The Easter period could be season-defining for Moore's side.

After a trip to high-flying Watford on Good Friday, the Owls entertain Cardiff City on Monday tea-time.

"It (the Easter programme) is big," acknowledged Harris. "Every game until the end of the season is huge.

"It is not just these two, it is the next seven games after that.

"The players and staff are aware of how big every game is and we are approaching every game the same which is to win."


The Hornets are the form team in the second-tier, having won five on the spin to open up a six-point buffer in the race for automatic promotion.

It will be a tough ask for Wednesday given Watford have only lost twice on home soil all season.

Harris said: "Barnsley were on 12-match unbeaten run and we ended that. I don't really look into their form thinking 'oh no, we have not got a chance here.' Not at all.

"Every game is winnable. They (Watford) are a team full of quality but I think we are too. We have just got to be better on the day."

Do the Owls have to beat either Watford or Cardiff to avoid the drop?

"It would be great if we did," said Harris. "If we don't, there will still be another seven games after that.

"We will give ourselves a much better chance if we win one out of the next two."

Victory over the Reds before the two-week international break gave Wednesday's survival hopes a timely shot in the arm. The great escape is still on.

Harris said: "I think the Barnsley result helped (lift spirits) a lot. We should have got all three points against Huddersfield. To come off the back of that and win the next game, which was a derby, was great.

"The boys are high in spirits and training has been really good in the last week or so. It has been since the new manager has come in. He has lifted the boys. His ideas are great and everybody has taken to him. The boys are enjoying working under him."

It is early days into Moore's tenure but the signs are that the players are buying into his methods. The Owls have collected four points from his five matches in charge.

"He is great," said Harris. "Whenever you get someone new, it is going to take a bit of time for the team and players to adapt.

"I think he is still trying to find the best formation to play.

"But every game that he has been here, I think he has chosen a very good team for the outfit that we have come up against.

"He has been great and I think we are only going to improve the longer he is here."

Despite their lowly league position, there are reasons to be cheerful for Wednesdayites. Moore and his coaching staff have already got the team adopting a more aggressive, front-foot approach.

Harris said: "He [Moore] is a players' dream.

"He is a really, really good manager. A good man-manager.

"He is someone that you can talk to at any time.

"From the first day that he came in, he said that you can knock on his door at any time and he is willing to speak. You don't get that with every single manager that you get.

"I think he is great for the players. He is someone that you can definitely talk to about anything.

"He has been great for us all.

"He is very hands on and demanding.

"I think he has been very, very good since coming in. I have not got one negative that I could say about him to be honest and I don't think anyone here has."

It has not taken Moore long to make his mark. There have been subtle tweaks to their training programme.

It is clear Moore favours a tactically versatile and high-pressing possession game.

Wednesday have used the break to sharpen up on their work with and without the ball.

Harris says a "lot" has changed since Moore's arrival.

"We have long meetings before and after games to review matches and what we could be doing better as a team and individually," he said. "Training is very specific.

"He [Moore] wants Sheffield Wednesday to have a real identity. He wants us to be real good in possession and full of energy off the ball, closing down the team and getting the ball back as soon as possible.

"He is trying to demand that from his players day in, day out.

"It is something we need to improve on and I think we will get better at it. The boys have adapted to it quite well so far."

The results would suggest the Owls are still very much a work in progress.

But it is hugely encouraging that Moore is looking to implement his own footballing philosophy at Hillsborough. A clear blueprint for the future.

Harris said: "It is important.

"Some managers don't like to be a possession-based team. Some like to get it forward as quick as possible, feed off seconds and get in the final third.

"Some managers like to play out from the back.

"It depends on the manager that you get.

"We have had quite a few so there has not been that real identity in our play for the last year or so.

"I think with this manager coming in he has been very clear in what he wants. It is something that the boys agree with and want to get better at being a possession-based team.

"The boys agree with his ideas and we are looking forward to getting better at it and improving."

There is a lot at stake for Wednesday and Harris over the coming months. Harris is among a host of players out of contract at the end of the season.

Talks have taken place between Harris and his representatives over a new deal.

"There has not been an update really," he said. "We are still in the same position.



"The main focus right now is to stay up and hopefully we do talk about it at the end some time soon.

"The main focus for everyone right now is staying in the Championship, myself included."

Middlesbrough are big admirers of Harris and he is also reportedly on Stoke City, Reading and Watford's radar.

"You hear a lot of things and rumours about clubs being interested in you when you are a free agent," he said.

"All I am focused on is staying in the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday. That is all that has been on my mind." 

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HoylandOwl

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#2 31/03/2021 at 07:12

That's a decent read.
Quite a few interesting comments in there.

The one about the manager's door always being open...
Whilst that's not ground breaking in isolation, it says more about what went before...  

13.11.2010 at 20.51 emre...tbh, Hoylands goal gave me a semi 

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HoylandOwl

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#3 31/03/2021 at 07:15

I'd be pinning things like this up in the dressing room...

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/fo otball/football-news/birmingham-city-shef field-wednesday-relegation-20290429

We're written off by this lot.  

Post edited on 31/03/2021 at 07:15 by HoylandOwl

13.11.2010 at 20.51 emre...tbh, Hoylands goal gave me a semi 

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P_O_T_R

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#4 31/03/2021 at 08:20

I'd be pinning things like this up in the dressing room...

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/fo otball/football-news/birmingham-city-shef field-wednesday-relegation-20290429

We're written off by this lot.
HoylandOwl, 31/03/2021 at 07:15



Doom Howson told them last week we were already relegated Erm

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MPB

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#5 31/03/2021 at 09:15

I'd love to think Harris et al have the bollocks to keep us up and ram it back down Brum's and all the anti-Wednesday c**ts' throats but......ain't gonna happen... 

PARRY CAN GO F@#* HIMSELF!! 

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Hirsty's 12th Pint

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Sheffield Wednesday
#6 31/03/2021 at 15:54

Harris is one of my biggest frustrations out of this squad. Obviously got something in his locker but only chooses to get it out 1 in 8 games.

Its OK though Kadeem off you will pop for another healthy contract to continue the millionaire lifestyle of an average Championship footballer.

Obviously if you turn into a world beater next 9 games and we stay up all is forgiven.  

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