Derby has more than pride at stake
It goes without saying that Sunday's Steel City derby clash between Wednesday and United at Hillsborough carries more significance the most recent meetings between the bitter rivals.
As well as pride being at stake and the right to sport a huge grin at work on Monday morning, both sides are pushing for promotion from npower League One this season and three points will be crucial in that battle.
The Blades may be in the driving seat for automatic promotion going into the game thanks to their five-point lead over third-placed Wednesday with two games in hand, but that fight isn't over yet.
Some may feel that Wednesday's current worrying form, which has put the Blades in pole position for second at least, has lessened the importance of this Sunday's game, in the respect that the sides going head-to-head won't be as close in the table as they were a month ago.
But if anything the match, from Wednesday's point of view at least, is even more important for the Owls' fortunes in the long-term this season.
Local bragging rights aside, there's no better way for Wednesday fans and players to pick themselves up and inject a massive boost of confidence for the remainder of the season than with victory over the Blades.
Whether we end up in the top-two or the play-offs, the Owls' form needs a drastic improvement and the momentum needs to swing firmly in a positive direction as the season enters its 'business end'.
Some Wednesdayites may now be dreading the derby match with the way things are currently going for both sides, and I'm a firm believer that a derby game is not wholly a 'one-off' or a 'cup final' - I'd always prefer to be the team in-form going into such a big game.
But if anything we need to look at it as an opportunity. An opportunity to partially put the on-the-pitch nightmare of the last four weeks to the back of our minds and turn our attentions to getting promotion one way or another this season. The opportunity to have a bit of a feel-good factor back at S6 just when we need it the most.
For once, it's a game that really is more than three points and the chance to gloat over our neighbours with victory. It's a game that could set the tone for Wednesday's fortunes this season.
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