As we all continue to work through this situation the best we possibly can, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone associated with our wonderful club a very happy Christmas.
First and foremost take good care of yourselves with all your loved ones this Christmas. Society is again going through an extremely tough time and above all else, good health and safety must come first.
We are all frustrated and so disappointed to have two games postponed and I know you will be feeling exactly the same way. This time of year is deeply embedded into the football calendar, yes it’s normally a hectic schedule but with a lot of points to play for and we went into the festive period in the ascendancy. We had back to back games to look forward to at Hillsborough, it was all nicely set up for the team and you, the fans.
Boxing Day is always a special occasion for football, particularly at a stadium like Hillsborough where we would have had a bumper crowd with everyone together in our home. But it was not to be, as we can see around the country, football cannot escape the situation we are in and everyone’s health is paramount so we have to deal with it and prepare for the next time we play, which right now is Sunderland for a game that wouldn’t be out of place in the Premier League and that says a lot.
We have a week to prepare, we are back to phase one at the training ground and it will stay that way for as long as is necessary. The players are returning in phased groups, we are testing on a daily basis and I am hopeful we can get everybody integrated, get back into that rhythm and our programmes back on track.
It’s vital to maintain momentum and the only way to do that is out on the grass. Our schedules have been disrupted so the focus now is continuing where we left off. We’ve been on a good, solid run of form, we need that to continue and going into the New Year the games are going to come thick and fast, especially with the additional fixtures to be rearranged.
We need to come back firing on all cylinders and Hillsborough has a huge part to play in that with the number of home games we have on the fixture list. I’ve lost count of the amount of people I speak to in football who are in awe of the experience of coming to Hillsborough, telling me how unique Hillsborough is and how fortunate we are to be able to draw on the support and atmospheres we have at Sheffield Wednesday.
My message is clear and I sincerely mean every word – you really do this club so proud and I thank every single one of you for the love you give. In terms of what we are all living with right now, football can be a great escape and we know that comes with cost and sacrifice. Your dedication, the way you follow your team up and down the country, the commitments you make following your team…it’s incredible really.
So please stay safe over this period, stay together, enjoy your Christmas time with your families and friends and we all look forward to the next time we meet.