Contrasting managerial styles sees Owls come out on top

Last updated : 20 January 2008 By Chris Morris

In the build up to the 1st Sheffield derby of the season and the first for the managers of both sides, much of the talk focussed on how the two bosses, both under a fair amount of pressure coming into the game, would approach the fixture.

Owls boss Brian Laws, under pressure as the team's form has dipped since November, pushing them towards the relegation zone, could not overstate the importance of the fixture to the supporters and that the players were more than aware of this and they were chomping at the bit to get at their rivals and he was holding them back from overdoing it in training. Bryan Robson, under pressure as his side have thus far failed to live up to their billing as genuine promotion contenders, also acknowledged the importance of the fixture to the supporters but adopted an approach to suggest that it was just another game for the team, who would need to stay calm to pick up the points.

There was no doubt that Wednesday looked the team more hungry for the win, their attacking 1st half approach was rewarded with a 1-0 lead at the break and some resolute defending at the start of the second half saw them through to clinch the 2-0 win.

Laws stated beforehand that the players had all the motivation they would need to win the game and this would be further generated from the supporters. His focus was put on organisation and Wednesday seemed more comfortable with the shape in which they were playing, a fact emphasised by their opponents changing their formation and making a double substitution at half-time.

The win gives Owls supporters bragging rights at least until the two teams meet at Bramall Lane in four weeks time.

What is important now for Wednesday is that they take the passion and desire shown in this match into forthcoming fixtures as this level of performance and commitment has certainly not been seen consistently enough so far during this campaign.