Thought For The Day – Tuesday 23rd May 2023
After the first leg of their play-off semi-final Sheffield Wednesday were 4-0 down.
Their manager, Darren Moore, suffered racist abuse from individuals on social media. Racist abuse is wrong, evil, immoral and illegal and needs appropriately challenged, reported and punished. The wider community rightly rallied in massive and great support of Darren Moore.
But, despite everything, Darren Moore was ever thoughtful, kind and resilient. Darren Moore still believed. He, and his staff, inculcated positive belief in the players in six days. They knew they were a great team, having accumulated a fantastic and historic 96 points in the regular season. Videos of great comebacks were shown, whilst it was calculated that Sheffield Wednesday had scored three goals at home on average. The psychological approach and mindset of the players was worked on. Keep believing. Supporters were encouraged to attend and create a positive ambience and atmosphere. It would take everyone.
An early goal built momentum. An added time equalizer in the second half, and then an equalizer in extra time, coming back again, took the match to 5-5 on aggregate, and 5-1 to Sheffield Wednesday on the evening. The game went to penalties, which Sheffield Wednesday had, of course, practiced in the week, against all odds and likely scenarios, before they completed a historic victory. In his post-match interview, Darren Moore thanked God first, paid tribute to Peterborough United second and then praised his players and thanked everyone at Sheffield Wednesday. He talked about the importance of mindset, belief, looking forward, taking things one step at a time and detailed preparation in segments.
Their opponents, Peterborough United, were very gracious in defeat, congratulating Darren Moore and his players.
Darren Moore’s pre-game interview: https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/football/12883930/darren-moore-we-have-an-opportunity-to-create-history
Darren Moore’s post-game interview: https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/football/12884111/darren-moore-hails-remarkable-comeback
Darren Moore’s post-game speech (and the players’ appreciation): https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/av/football/65647001
Keep believing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMCPYzCw4cs (Pep Guardiola’s team talks)