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Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi Final 1st Leg

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After The Final Whistle: Sheff Wed fan Liam - “You could feel the floor shaking when SAFC scored”

Following Sunderland’s 1-0 first leg victory over Sheffield Wednesday, Matty Crichton spoke to co-host of The Wednesday ’Til I Die Podcast, Liam Russell, to discuss his thoughts on the match!

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Matthew Crichton: Sunderland took the lead through a long ball that Ross Stewart pounced onto, were you frustrated to concede such a preventable goal?

Liam Russell: Yes, very frustrating to concede in that manner. The fact it was a mistake from Hutch makes it even more so as I can’t remember the last mistake he made, his “one for the season” at the worst time.

MC: The match was incredibly tight throughout, but Sunderland had the better of the chances, do you think that 1-0 to Sunderland was a fair reflection of the match?

LR: I think we were very lucky not to be at least 3 down to be honest with you. The first 15 minutes of the second half were unbearable from a Wednesday perspective.

Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi Final 1st Leg
Alex Neil has already won promotion via the playoffs twice, with Norwich and Hamilton.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

MC: Barry Bannan was successfully neutralised by Luke O’Nien, what did you think of the way Darren Moore approached the match tactically?

LR: O’ Nien was fantastic, as were your midfield in general, I think that’s where you won the game. Winning the second balls and not giving our players time on the ball.

I don’t have an issue with the tactics, most probably an unpopular opinion but I personally just don’t think the performance levels of the team in general were up to the levels of some of our recent games.

The 4 at the back in the second half quite evidently didn’t work but some fans have the “he has no plan B” gripe. He tried something different to try and change the game and it didn’t work, but fair play to him for trying it.

MC: Which Sunderland players were you most impressed with and why?

LR: O’Nien - purely for the job he did on Baz!

Also, Batth - may be slightly biased as an ex-owl but he dealt with everything that came over to Gregory and Saido, just a solid performance from him.

Soccer - FA Cup - First Round - Morecambe v Sheffield Wednesday - Globe Arena
Danny Batth won promotion from League One with Sheffield Wednesday during a loan spell during the 2011/12 season.
Photo by Joe Giddens - PA Images via Getty Images

MC: Despite losing, the mood was still positive amongst Wednesday fans at full time, do you think your side will be confident that you can turn things around given your record at Hillsborough?

LR: This is the best of the worst case scenario, if that makes sense, I said before the game I would take being a goal down.

We have been in unbelievable form at home and are up there with the goals scored this side of the new year. It’s not ideal but I’m still confident we can win the tie.

MC: At 44,742, the playoff attendance record was broken, what were your thoughts on the atmosphere?

LR: Great atmosphere on the whole, you could feel the floor shaking a bit when your goal went in. The Wednesday fans were brilliant as always pretty much in full voice throughout.

MC: Overall, what do you think your side will have to change on Monday to ensure that you go to Wembley?

LR: Just get the ball down and play our game, try and enforce our style of play on the game. If we get going at home I have no doubt we have the chance to turn the tie around.


Pause for thought


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