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Club News

Derbies, bragging rights and the importance of three points

20 March 2015

Ahead of the Owls’ South Yorkshire derby with Rotherham, Stuart Gray has stressed the importance of gaining a result at The New York Stadium.

Having played in numerous derby battles throughout his career, Gray is all too aware of what is at stake on Saturday.

And the head coach has urged his players to stand up and be counted for the sell-out fixture.

He said: “I’ve played in a lot of derbies; I’ve played in a Villa/Birmingham derby, I’ve played in a Southampton/Portsmouth derby and you just want the bragging rights.

“It’s one where the fans think, ‘we must win that game’ and we know how important it is."

The Millers are six points clear of the dangerzone but with safety not yet assured, Gray is expecting a tough challenge with a capacity crowd behind the hosts.

On that front, he said: “We know the fans will be out in their numbers for both sides and the atmosphere will be electric.

“They are a strong physical side and play to their strengths and one thing we do know is we have to stand up and be counted.

“If you turn up there not at it, you will get beaten as we did that night last season in the cup game.

“I saw them play at Forest in midweek and it was an unbelievable game.

“For 42/43 minutes they were in control but they couldn’t stick the ball in the net. Then after two bits of quality from Forest, they were suddenly 2-0 down.

“Football can work like that sometimes but the players know exactly what is expected of them.”

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