Football

Sheffield football enjoying a change in fortunes

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With the doom and gloom finally lifted over Sheffield football things are now looking up as Wednesday and United concentrate on life away from the relegation zone in their respective leagues.

Prior to Christmas both clubs were in serious danger of relegation and were contemplating a dogfight for the remainder of the season. Both clubs had to act to avoid what could have been disastrous in football and financial terms.

Sheffield Wednesday decided that they were to part company with their manager Dave Jones and Sheffield United decided that Danny Wilson's tenure was to come to an end to be replaced by Nigel Clough.

Although Wednesday did not appoint a replacement for Jones straight away they did appoint Stuart Gray in a caretaker role.

How times have now changed. Sheffield Wednesday are now twelve points outside the relegation zone and looking to consolidate in mid-table in the Championship.

Their late 1-0 victory over Middlesborough on Saturday at Hillsborough might not have been the prettiest victory but under Gray they are effective, they have come a long way from their early season form.

The play-offs are thirteen points away from The Owls currently and they are unlikely to reach those heady heights this season but if you were to offer Gray the league position he now has he would have snapped your hand off prior to Christmas.

Gray fully deserves his appointment as permanent manager at Hillsborough, it was only a surprise that it took so long.

Across the city, United could have a chance of making a late surge for the play-offs. After their midweek 2-0 victory over promotion chasing Peterborough, the Blades have now gone eight games unbeaten in all competitions and have now kept six consecutive league clean sheets in a row.

They now lie in tenth, only eight points behind Peterborough who occupy the last play-off spot currently. Clough has instilled a confidence and winning culture that can catapult the Blades to
promotion.

United also have the opportunity to progress into the FA Cup semi-finals if they beat Charlton at Bramall Lane this weekend. It could have been an all-Sheffield quarter final if Wednesday had beaten Charlton at Hillsborough last week which would have sparked comparisons with 1993 when the sides played each other at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final.

They were great times for football in Sheffield.

Both clubs are looking to the future with optimism but will be all too aware of the previous false dawns that both clubs have endured over the last few years.

However, United now have significant backers and Milan Mandaric has ensured financial stability at Hillsborough whilst rumours are rife over the possibility of a huge takeover bid in the not too distant future.

Could we be witnessing the resurgence of a footballing City that should be gracing the Premier League once again?


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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