Darren Moore has regrets but keen to keep believing Wednesday can step up

·3-min read
Adam Davy/PA Wire

Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore admits he has regrets over his side’s automatic promotion near-miss.

The Owls won 3-0 at Shrewsbury but the result was rendered irrelevant after wins for Plymouth and Ipswich, the top two in Sky Bet League One.

The pair both sealed the victories that they needed to confirm their places in the Championship next term, while Wednesday will now have to navigate the play-offs if they are to join them.

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Moore, who watched striker Michael Smith score a hat-trick in the taming of the Shrews, admitted: “There’s always regrets that you can’t go one better.

“But this is football, sometimes when you feel you should get the rub of the green, you haven’t (got it). But what we have got is another wonderful opportunity and that’s what we have got to be looking at.

“The points tally this season, we know over the course of any other season where we would be. But we are in 2022-23 and we have plenty to look forward to.

“Don’t look back as it costs unspent energy. 93 points, credit to the players and we have a full house next week (against Derby).”

Smith opened the scoring with a fine finish early on after a smart team move.

His second came just after the restart when he nodded home Marvin Johnson’s precise cross.

And he completed his first treble since achieving the feat for Portsmouth against Yeovil in 2016 when he slid home after a through-ball from captain Barry Bannan.

Moore added: “I thought the first goal was exceptional from our point of view. A really good team goal and it was a really cultured finisher from Smudger.

“That was the pick of the bunch and I was really pleased for Smudger as he works really tirelessly for the team and strikers judge themselves on their goals.

“For him to get the three goals today was really, really good. It was a special moment for him and he will get all the headlines.

“But I thought all of the team here came and put on a resounding performance and controlled the game.”

Shrews boss Steve Cotterill acknowledged his side were put to the sword by a far superior outfit.

His team have now lost seven of their last eight matches, although they are well clear of danger.

Cotterill said: “We gave plenty of effort but we’ve given away two poor goals and came up against a squad that is full of quality, that’s it.

“The subs they make later on in the game shows that quality. That’s why they were on 90-plus points.

“We were 1-0 down and then they, to be fair to them, put in four great blocks and showed their character.

“And that’s another reason why they’re on 93 points. We always knew it would be a difficult game. The bottom line is they were too good for us.”