Simon excited by trip to Hillsborough
Simon Grayson believes Town’s first Yorkshire Derby of the season against Sheffield Wednesday has all the ingredients to be a fantastic spectacle.
Grayson’s men go into Wednesday’s game on the back of a four match unbeaten run and have good memories from the last time they travelled to Hillsborough, when they came from behind to earn a 4-4 draw.
“Hillsborough is a fantastic arena to play football and it is a local derby - so it has all the ingredients to be a brilliant game of football,” Simon told htafc.com. “Hopefully we can replicate a similar standard of performance from the weekend and gain a positive result. They will be hugely disappointed losing the way they did against Brighton – they haven’t been used to losing games under Dave Jones. He has put together a strong competitive team that has pace in the wide areas; they are also very good from set-pieces.
“Dave will have tried to bring in a few of his own ideas and players over the course of the summer. When he went in there as manager there wasn’t much to change - all he had to do was continue what had been done and get them over the line. We know what to expect on Wednesday and we will treat them with the upmost respect, but I want to concentrate on what we can do to hurt them.”
Simon continued: “They have had to improve their squad as a result of promotion and the likes of Jay Bothroyd has Premier League experience and the boy from Barcelona, Rodri, is rated very highly. It is no surprise the calibre of player that they have been able to bring in because it is a big football club.”
Town’s latest win and clean sheet against Derby moved them to eighth in the npower Championship table, four places and one point above Wednesday, and Simon is pleased with the way the team is functioning at the moment.
“It is good for the confidence of the back four that they are very tight at the moment and haven’t conceded many goals,” said Simon. “All the components of our game are working well so far, but we know that we have still got a lot of work to do. We can’t afford to get complacent in this division; the games come thick and fast and we have to make sure that we are at it every match day.
“It was vital that we picked up from where we left off before the international break, especially as we now enter a period of Tuesday-Saturday games. If you can win your first game of a busy period if gives you confidence and also doesn’t put you under as much pressure as you aren’t playing catch-up. We are going into the Sheffield Wednesday game full of confidence and buoyed by our recent results.”
Danny Ward provided the only goal against Derby County on Saturday and the winger has impressed Town’s manager after taking his opportunity presented by Sean Scannell’s hamstring injury.
“He has done very well and that is why he is still in the team. I have got a lot of faith in Danny that he can produce performances. I said last year that I felt he needed to believe in himself a little bit more and be more consistent and I think he grasped an opportunity when he came into the team and has done well. His goal against Derby was something that we had worked on in training and hopefully that will give him a major boost. He was struggling with his back before the game and that is why we took him off on Saturday, but he trained on Monday and should be ok for Wednesday.”
Remember Wednesday tickets are still available until 4pm on Tuesday at the Stadium or you can pay on the gate at Hillsborough!