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A view from the North East Corner

A view from the North East Corner

Vital blogger Chris Mace anticipates Saturday's massive promotion decider against Wycombe Wanderers...

As predicted, Sheffield Wednesday's promotion campaign has come down to a do or die match. A single game of 90 minutes, where winning means promotion and anything else doesn't bear thinking about. But it's not the trip to Wembley we were expecting.

I'll be the first to admit that after the draw at Colchester, gaining five points over our rivals in just three games seemed a bridge too far and I'd accepted that a trip to Wembley was almost inevitable.

To say Football is an unpredictable game is an understatement, and the events of the last three weeks proves that. The loss of United's star player in circumstances so disgraceful was a shock to everyone - no more so it seems than to his fellow teammates, and even our city neighbours would have to admit that they haven't quite been the same without him.

Our continued form is nothing short of incredible. To go undefeated since mid-February is a huge achievement, especially when so many of those games have been wins.

United fans will say that they've thrown it away, and they definitely have a point looking at the last two games, but when you look at the form of both teams since the big derby win in February, we've been by far the better of the two - and top of the form table for the whole league by quite some distance. I really feel that over the last two months we've deservedly crept into second place rather than simply United throwing it away.

The form book is out of the window on Saturday though, as nerves get to the players and fans.

Megson said last summer that he wanted to sign players who could cope with the pressure of playing at Hillsborough, and we will certainly see whether that is the case this weekend. The players should absolutely relish the chance to play in front of just under 40,000 home fans, screaming them on from four sides of the ground whilst simultaneously feeling that inner sense of anticipation.

Before the Manchester derby earlier this week, someone I know from the south coast posted on Facebook that he's never felt so much anticipation before any match before - and he wasn't even going! He has no idea what we're going through!

For years we've suffered as Wednesday fans - 12 years outside the Premier League with very little to cheer about. The play-off final seven years ago was a big game - but I feel this is a much bigger game than that. This is potentially the start of something massive for us - so much so that I feel physically sick thinking about it, and I'll feel worse on Saturday at 3pm. This is what real football supporting is all about - commitment to your team through the tough days, so that you can revel in the excitement and anticipation of games like the one on Saturday. In my 20-plus years of following Wednesday I can say absolutely that I've never felt this much anticipation before.

This is our play-off final, but not when we expected, where we expected or against who we expected. We've got a massive home advantage. Hillsborough will have more Wednesday fans in it at the same time since the 1980s, and we're not playing one of the top teams in the league. It should be easy on paper - but it doesn't work like that in real life. Here's something Wednesday fans haven't said enough in the last 12 years:

I can't wait for the weekend!

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Writer:Chris Mace
Date:Wednesday May 2 2012
Time: 10:47AM


come on wednesday do us proud
02/05/2012 11:20:00
Great write up Chris you hit the nail on the head, I too feel physically sick thinking about Saturday I was nearing tears when we beat Carlisle so god knows how I'm going to be on Saturday. I have always said we would finish 2nd and predicted the outcome of the last 2 games for both us and our city rivals (in all honesty more in hope than anything else) but this final game I can not bring myself to make a prediction be it in case I jinx the result or because there is that much riding on it all I ask for is we can score early on to settle any nerves for both the players and the fans. Also how ironic is it that the week building up to the final game Wednesday falls on the 2nd of the month could this be a sign I hope so. (OvO) UTO (OvO) keeping the faith since 1867.
SWFC Tubes 84
02/05/2012 11:53:00
Good piece Chris but why are so many Wednesdayites prone to feeling "physically sick" these days?? If we're not physically sick when we sack the manager, we're physically sick when the new one takes us to the brink of automatic promotion. I mean, we're Wednesdites ffs not big girls blouses! Although I'll admit feeling sick myself when Brighty missed that sitter in the FA Cup final replay... still wake up in a cold sweat... Anybody on these boards connected with the Wednesday (England) band? Tell em to change the key they play in. Stick it up a notch. They ALWAYS play too flat and it turns every chant into a feckin dirge!!!! And lets not have 90 minutes of continuous "If you don't feckin bounce" on Saturday.... not exactly Fields of Anfield Road is it or even the pigs Chip Buttie Song!!! I was at Brentford Saturday and listening to us sing "This city is ours... feck off Utd" was somehow lost on their fans and the same wherever we've gone this season. We need a half decent anthem at Wednesday that kids and grannies can join in without lookin and soundin daft!!! My last post this. It's been a hoot this forum and though Maurice and his army of fans will no doubt be feeling physically sick at my passing... I do love passing.... even the personal attacks have been a laugh to read and I wish us one and all a great day out Saturday, and like the article says, I too feel this sleepy giant is finally stirring and the next two or three seasons will finally see us back where we belong....MASSIVE. WTID
02/05/2012 12:35:00
aw... Does this mean that imaginary 'army' of Blind Megsonites will have no-one to throw up on?
02/05/2012 14:04:00
Got one, got one. The Pigs nicked their 'greatest hit' from John Denver, right? Well I've lifted this here one from Ten Years After (although it's actually a blues standard, so there'll be no hassle with copyright infringement blah blah). It's one of those old prison chaingang ditties so imagine busting a rock with a big hammer after each line. Well that's the kiddie/ granny friendly version folks! Here goes: "One of these days boy (clunk/ ow!) I'm gonna see McCabe-y (clunk/ ow!) I'm gonna see McCabe-y (clunk/ ow!) Comin' down the road (clunk/ hey, steady on!) He's got my pardon (clunk/ stop yer whinin') In the pocket of his apron, Lord (clunk/ ow!) Gonna see the guv'nor (clunk/ sob!) 'N say 'Release my centre forward'." I reckon with a bit of practice the Band could add a couple of trumpet licks and... What's that? Brentford fans wouldn't understand that one either? I suppose you're right. It'll have to be "Knees Up Mavver Brahn" then.
02/05/2012 16:18:00
One song I've always wanted to hear is "We are the Owls, We are the Owls, We are, We are, We are the Owls" to the tune of "We are the Mods" from Quadrophenia. Imagine the atmosphere that would create we're all singing that for 10 - 20 minutes at a time! Wednesday for life!
02/05/2012 19:51:00
Megson out I for a change agree with you whole heartedly and besides the comments that I've made I'd be lying if I said i didn't have the biggest smile. Up the owls, win and enjoys the experience lads.
02/05/2012 20:12:00
Apologies to Chris Mace. Seems like his fine article has been over-shadowed by Megon_In's Leaving Do. Which, sadly, wasn't particularly well attended. Perhaps the prospect of all that vomit put a lot off. Never mind. The morning after and not a single whiff of disinfectant, so all's well that ends well. So, with our hero now off to play tippy-tappy along that great halfway line in the sky, it seems only fitting to mark the occasion with a few words: Yes, it's sad in a way that our embryonic comedy double-act has been nipped in the bud before it had any chance of being funny. No more the next Morecambe & Wise, the next Agana & Deane (Wait a minute, weren't those last two ice skaters? No, comedians). Although in truth we were crying out for fresh material. P*** P*** P*** W*** W*** W*** had grown thin, as had the verb to Feck which sends all the wrong messages to that ever-growing army of kids and grannies who regularly visit this site. So all in all, perhaps it's not such a bad thing. Which just leaves me with suggestions for a suitable anthem to mark the end of a quite amazing season. Personally, I don't give a hoot what Brentford fans think, this is all about us, and when the time comes I'd like to hear all four sides rattle off a few rousing choruses of "Ginger Mourinho", just for old times' sake! Up The Owls!
03/05/2012 06:39:00
4~0 No worries. Onwards and up up up.
Kettering OWL 1963
03/05/2012 10:35:00
Totally agree with the comment that this feels bigger than the play-off final of and could be the start of something much brighter for the club because of our financial stability. I do tire of hearing how much we've suffered over the past 12 years though, there are probably 20 other clubs in football league that would say the same. We just have to accept and get on with it.
04/05/2012 09:23:00
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